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Posted: 10/4/2004 9:22:21 PM EDT
A San Francisco supervisor has quietly introduced a proposal to join growing efforts to ban the sale or transfer of high-powered sniper rifles, prompting gun lobbyists to threaten a lawsuit against The City.

Supervisor Matt Gonzalez's plan is part of a growing legal pressure against the military-style .50-caliber weapons that are capable of penetrating armor and striking targets up to four miles away. A gun-lobby lawsuit is proceeding against Contra Costa County for its recent ban of the rifles in unincorporated areas of that East Bay region.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has worked for years to curb the .50-caliber's prevalence, and a spokesman from her office said she would be supportive of a local effort.

"We've tried to limit them on a national level and we haven't been able to get that through," said Howard Gantman of Feinstein's office.

Contra Costa supervisors passed a ban on the rifles this spring, arguing that they might be used for terrorist attacks on local refineries. The City of Los Angeles has a similar ban, and these efforts to restrict the guns are now working their way through state and federal legislatures.

The guns are popular among hobbyists who use them for target practice, but are not common in San Francisco.

Gonzalez on Tuesday introduced legislation to clean up local gun laws that conflict with state law and recent court decisions and to add the ban on the sale and transfer of .50-caliber rifles in San Francisco.

Gun-lobby attorney Chuck Michel called the San Francisco effort "premature" and said that, depending on the outcome of the current Contra Costa suit, he might press a case against The City if legislators pass a .50-caliber ban.

"I don't know why they would want to get involved in litigation," he said.

The sniper rifles, available easily over the Internet for a few thousand dollars, have "never been used in a crime," Michel said, adding that efforts to ban them buy into a new argument that they are "simply too big. The problem is there is no such thing as a gun that is 'just right' ... in the mind of the gun-ban lobby."

A San Francisco ban on the rifles might help fuel a national crackdown, but local law enforcement officials said they don't see their use in gun crimes here.

Link Posted: 10/5/2004 6:22:54 AM EDT
"...available easily over the Internet?..."

Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:25:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/5/2004 7:25:29 AM EDT by mikr]
"A San Francisco ban on the rifles might help fuel a national crackdown"

Yep, cracking down on all dem drive-by 50 cal shootings
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 8:10:33 AM EDT
Sure...on the internet....for only a few thousand dollars...cause every thug, thief, mugger and thier mom has a few thousand lying around that they'd rather spend on a single shot, bolt action rifle (note semi-auto 50s usually are more than a few thousand) than on a tec-9 or desert eagle or some other "cool" movie gun.
Link Posted: 10/7/2004 10:21:22 AM EDT
It's true folks...every gangsta I run into has his AR50 shoved under his drivers seat ready to knock over the local 7-11.

<­b>I can't even LIFT the @#$%ing thing.

Link Posted: 10/7/2004 10:29:22 AM EDT
visualizing a south central drive by being performed with a 50BMG...

...windows blown out...
...bolt action? 10 shot semi-auto? In a moving vehichle? Hmm. Something doesn't add up...
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