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Posted: 9/14/2004 7:01:55 AM EST
Posted on Tue, Sep. 14, 2004

Police expect influx of assault weapons

By Denis Cuff

CONTRA COSTA TIMES

East Bay law enforcement officials predicted Monday that more assault weapons will flow illegally into California as a result of Monday's end of the federal ban on the guns.

California kept its ban in place even as Congress allowed the federal one to expire.

But some top police officials in the East Bay worry that gun buyers will purchase the weapons legally in Nevada, Arizona or other states and sneak them into California.

"We have a good law in California, but we don't have a Berlin Wall around the state," said Alameda County Sheriff Charles Plummer. "It's impossible to keep things out, especially when they're legal in so many other states."

California is one of six states that have assault weapons bans in place as Congress let its expire amid a stalemate about how and when to renew it.

The federal measure, prompted by the deaths of eight people gunned down in a San Francisco high-rise, was signed by President Clinton in 1994. It had outlawed 19 types of military-style assault weapons, and banned certain features on firearms such as bayonet mounts, and limited ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

With the ban's expiration, the greater accessibility of the assault weapons is bound to lead to more of them in the wrong hands in California, said Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf

"I'm not saying the sky is falling, but we could see more (assault weapons) in the state," Rupf said. "The only time where I have seen these assault weapons is when bad guys are using them."

Richmond Police Chief Charles Bennett said Congress' failure to renew the ban was inexcusable. "I think they're gambling with people's lives. It was stupid."

Gun group leaders said law enforcement leaders are overreacting, trying to stir false fears that the end of the federal ban will lead to more violence and lawlessness in California.

"It won't do anything with California," said Chuck Michel, a spokesman for the California Gun and Rifle Association, a political ally of the National Rifle Association that represents gun owners in the Golden State.

While critical of the California gun law for being too confusing in defining assault weapons, Michel said it's absurd to suggest criminals are going to deluge California with assault weapons from other states.

The problems are the criminals, not the guns, he said.

"There is no such thing as a bad gun in the hand of a good guy, or a good gun in the hand of a bad guy," Michel said.

The state law has been in place since 1989, following an assault-weapons attack upon a Stockton elementary school.

Steve Sposato, whose wife, Jody, died in the 1993 San Francisco shooting at 101 California Street, said he was outraged that Congress and the Bush administration had failed to keep alive the ban he had fought for.

"It's bewildering to me how during a time when terrorism is the big fight, they can take a position to allow assault weapons," Sposato said. "Al-Qaida says in its (captured) handbook, 'Don't bring guns to America; you can buy them there.'"

Sposato and other critics of the expiring ban argued that Congress is too scared to take on the National Rifle Association lobby despite polls saying a majority of Americans favor bans on assault weapons.

Michel of the California Gun and Rifle Association said bans on assault weapons have been ineffective in reducing crime.

He said he expects gun control advocates to push for assault-weapon bans in more states now that the federal ban has lapsed.

"There will be a push for bans in other states, but the gun control lobby will have a tough time in a year when we see that violent crime will not have gone up," Michel said.

Rep Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, said she was disappointed by the ban's expiration.

"The idea of putting more guns -- dangerous, unnecessary guns -- out on the street is only supported by gun manufacturers and those beholden to them," she said in a written statement.

www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/state/9658807.htm

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Hopeless.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 7:11:30 AM EST
"We have a good law in California, but we don't have a Berlin Wall around the state," said Alameda County Sheriff Charles Plummer. "It's impossible to keep things out, especially when they're legal in so many other states."

WHAT?! You mean that passing a law doesn't immediately stop whatever action you have targeted? This is unheard of. I thought all you had to do was outlaw actions and objects and we would all be safer immediately.

I am outraged!
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 7:28:13 AM EST
Those idiots obviously do not realize that the bordering states have been buying and selling assault weapons, all along. They obviously also seem to forget that a dealer would not sell to a California resident due to your continuance of ban. Hence, anybody purchasing these rifles before and after ban are considered criminals, just what they want. Outlaw guns and only law enforcement, military and criminals will have guns.
Chuck
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 7:39:53 AM EST
"The idea of putting more guns -- dangerous, unnecessary guns -- out on the street is only supported by gun manufacturers and those beholden to them," she said in a written statement.

What's "unnecessary" about them?

Seems odd that the political hacks think it's all about them; the rest of the country should pass laws as stupid as theirs to protect California. A typical attitaude in that state. Recall the power shortages. Kali didn't want to sully their wonderful state with those icky power plants, then bitched because Arizona and other states wouldn't seel them power cheap. Self centered bastards.

Judging by my visits to the Reno, NV show and trips to AZ gunshops, I would guess there are huge numbers of Kali residents that ignore the ban. I doubt those cars with Kali license plates throw the high caps they just bought away before they hit the state line
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 8:25:22 AM EST
The asshole new police chief here in Nashville is a poster boy for the AW Ban. I hope he doesn't last long, the dipshit.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 8:35:18 AM EST

"We have a good law in California, but we don't have a Berlin Wall around the state," said Alameda County Sheriff Charles Plummer.


Oh I'm sure they'll fix that soon, the way things are going in that benighted state.
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