Rather than looking to capability or crime statistics, Feinstein’s bill starts by attempting to ban weapons by name.
AK47, Rock River Arms LAR–47, Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles, Sturm Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rife M–14/20CF, Kel-Tec PLR 16, IZHMASH Saiga 12… You can read the complete list here.
Beyond banning guns by name, the are several other “characteristics” that could cause a weapon to land on the banned list, which is even sillier, but we’ll get into that later. First lets look at what prompted the latest assault on the Second Amendment and the definition of a Personal Defense Weapon.
During the past 12 months the media has focused on several tragedies involving mentally ill individuals and illegally obtained firearms. Listening to the rhetoric of the anti-gun lobby, you would think this was all based on the events of a couple of high-profile shootings, but that is not true. According to Feinstein’s website, her new proposed legislation is the culmination of over 12 months of effort—long before the tragedies of Aurora Colorado or Newtown Connecticut.
According to the rhetoric spewing from Feinstein and Schumer, semi-automatic weapons—such as the above list—have no place in society or the hands of individual citizens. The above weapons are too dangerous, designed for military use only, not suitable or necessary for hunting and most importantly, go beyond the scope necessary for personal defense.
Hmmm. Personal Defense. We’ll get into the specific definition of a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) in a minute. We must first examine why a citizen would need a PDW.
Who is responsible for your safety? The Government? The Police? Or You?
I have a degree in Criminal Justice and recall several cases we studied. On numerous occasions, even the uber-liberal leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that police do not have any specific duty to protect you or your property. The police only have a general responsibility to investigate and prosecute a crime after it has been committed. Ever called a Marine or the Air Force because your home was being robbed?
Last week Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke stated that calling 911 is not your best option when facing a violent criminal. Individuals have to take responsibility for their personal safety and the safety of those close to them. Fortunately, there are elements of the government that get it and this patriot just shot to the front of the list. And here is the part you are not going to believe: President Obama and the federal government get it too—stay tuned, and I’ll prove it below.
On the surface and in front of the media, you have the kooks publicly pushing their agenda and trying to capitalize on tragedies such as Sandy Hook. These are the very same people who claim to be taking the high road while parading the parents and loved ones of victims around to promote their agenda.
If the antis in the government were consistent with their actions, I would have to agree to disagree. I would state they have a right to their opinion, as I have a right to mine, and I would not seek to trample their rights or opinions, but would still defend mine. However, that is not the case. Recently, I a became privy to a document that should make each of us stand up and shout, “We agree with the government’s definition of a Personal Defense Weapon!”
That’s right. You and I have been wrong in the past. Our narrow thinking has blinded us. They led us to believe that an AR-15 defines the limits of a PDW. If that is what you think you are wrong and the government is right. We have been selling ourselves short, at least by a major department of the Federal Government’s own definition.
Exhibit A – The Government Definition of a Personal Defense Weapon
Let me introduce Exhibit “A” otherwise known as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Personal Defense Weapons Solicitation. Solicitation Number HSCEMS-12-R-00011
According to this requisition request, the Federal Government’s Department of Homeland Security, office of ICE defines a Personal Defense Weapon as a 5.56x45mm NATO, select-fire firearm.
Section C – DESCRIPTION/SPECIFICATIONS/STATEMENT OF WORK
This section has a couple of items of particular note that directly contradicts Feinstein’s proposed legislation.
3.9.2 – The action shall be select-fire (capable of semi-automatic and automatic fire).
3.9.10 – The action shall be capable of accepting all standard NATO STANAG 20 and 30 round M16 magazines (NSN 1005-00-921-5004) and Magpul 30 round PMAG (NSN 1005-01-576-5159). The magazine well shall be designed to allow easy insertion of a magazine.
3.10.1 - The fire control selector shall have three positions; safe, semi-automatic, and automatic.
3.12.1 – The overall length of the firearm shall not exceed 30 inches with the stock fully extended.
3.12.2 – The overall length of the firearm shall not exceed 20 inches with the stock fully retracted and/or folded.
3.14.3 – The barrel shall be equipped with a flash suppressor and/or muzzle brake. The muzzle device will be rated on its ability to reduce muzzle signature. It is desired that the muzzle device effectively reduces muzzle rise during firing.
3.16.1 – The pistol grip shall be a fixed, vertical pistol grip constructed of a durable material.
3.18.3 – The forend shall be constructed of durable, heat resistant material.
3.21.1 - Magazines shall be compatible with standard NATO STANAG M16 design.
3.21.2 – The magazine shall have a capacity to hold thirty (30) 5.56x45mm NATO rounds.
3.21.3 – Two (2) magazines shall be supplied with each firearm shipped under contract.
These, along with other specs are all requirements the government uses to define a Personal Defense Weapon. So let’s take a look and see how Feinstein’s 2013 Assault Weapon Ban compares.
Feinstein’s legislation seeks to ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of:
All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.
(3.12.1, 3.12.2, 3.16.1, 3.18.3)
All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
It also moves from a two-characteristic threshold to a one-characteristic test—this has to be the craziest part of the entire proposal. This makes it illegal to own weapons with features such as a muzzle break or flash suppressor (3.14.3), thumbhole or adjustable stock (3.14.3) or threaded barrel (3.14.3).
This sounds as if Feinstein and her cronies believe that a gun—with all of the exact same capabilities—suddenly becomes more lethal if it has a quick detach bayonet mount, a plastic pistol grip or the stock is changed to a thumbhole or adjustable model. Would a ban on muzzle breaks or flash suppressors have stopped a mass shooting? Really? Are they so misinformed as believe this will stop or reduce future tragedies?
Of course not. This legislation has nothing to do with mass shootings. It does not now, nor did it ever. Even by government standards, Feinstein’s proposed legislation is overreaching and classifies everyday sporting arms as assault weapons.
What do you consider an acceptable Personal Defense Weapon for the masses? Let us know in the comments section below.The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!