About two weeks ago, I addressed the stupidity of “assault weapon bans”, and specifically the moronic claim that they are intended to keep “military-style” hardware out of the hands of civilians. Today, we are going to replow that same ground, but in a different fashion.
Consider these rifles. What do you see?
The first is a good old M1917 bolt-action rifle, constructed by Eddystone in September, 1918 and used by the Canadian armed forces (as evinced by its stamping and rack number).
The second is, of course, the unmistakeable Model 39 Mosin Nagant bolt-action rifle, slapped together by SAKO in 1943, complete with an appropriately beaten-up wartime stock, and an old Finnish Civil Guard inventory number.
The thrid is a beautiful example of the MAS-49/56 semi-automatic rifle, manufactured by Saint Etienne in 1972, and not only includes its APX L806 scope, but also three 10-round magazines and a bayonet.
The fourth and final is probably my favorite, and is a Model PE 91/30 Mosin Nagant bolt action rifle, built at Tula in 1937, and comes with the appropriate serializations, appropriate stamps, and appropriate PEM scope.
Not only are every last one of those rifles “military-style”, they are, in fact, military rifles shooting “military calibers”, and they probably actively served in their respective countries’ armed forces. And yet, even during the blissfully-expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban, and still during Kalifornistan’s and Massachussets’ still-enacted AWBs*, I could have all four of these rifles shipped straight to my door with my Type 03 / Curio and Relic FFL**.
For heaven’s sake, the MAS-49/56 uses a gas impingement system that is nearly identical to that employed by the M-16/AR-15, has detachable magazines, shoots a still-available-if-expensive round that is roughly comparable to the 7.62x51mm NATO in terms of power, and was accurate to at least 600m when coupled with its included scope… and it could show up on my doorstep in a box, assuming I had the funds and beat its actual buyer to the punch. Despite being a bolt-action, the 91/30 shoots a slightly-more powerful round probably equally as accurately (its scope indicates that it was a “sniper” variant, and thus more-accurate than the average, off-the-shelf Mosin Nagant), and it too could be shipped straight to me.
Make no mistake – these are not replicas, these are not reproductions, these are not copies, these are not just “military-style”, and these have not been “de-milled”. They are, in fact, 100%, hardcore, honest-to-God military-issue rifles, and some of them may have even spent some time perforating Soviets, Germans, or Lord knows what else (not likely, but it is possible).
And every last one of them was legal to possess, buy, and sell during the Federal AWB**.
Remind me again how the “Assault Weapon Ban” was/is supposed to keep “military-style” hardware out of the hands of us untrustworthy citizens?
(* – MA still requires its subjects to provide their “license to own” permit when purchasing C&Rs, and California’s C&R laws are maliciously complicated but can still be forced to work.
** – This is assuming my understanding is correct. Information online regarding the legal interactions betwen C&R licenses and the expired FAWB is somewhat… lacking.)
(All images blatantly borrwed from Empire Arms.)