Skip to comments.NRA members say gun rights are 'under attack'
Posted on 04/19/2004 10:42:02 AM PDT by neverdemEdited on 04/19/2004 10:48:48 AM PDT by Sidebar Moderator. [history]
President Bush probably would have gotten a warmer welcome if he had come to Downtown yesterday, the last day of the National Rifle Association's annual convention, rather than today.
NRA officials estimated more than 60,000 people, most of them ardent Bush supporters, flooded the David L. Lawrence Convention Center during the weekend-long convention.
"I feel the same way he feels about gun rights," said Paul Leasure, 56, of Hopwood, Fayette County. "They're under attack."
"He pretty much supports my ideas on gun control" and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry "definitely doesn't," said Ken Rockwell, 63, of Uniontown, Fayette County.
Speakers in the middle of the convention center lobby, where the broadcast of NRAnews.com programming blared, magnified Rockwell's sentiment as a woman's voice proclaimed, "John Kerry is our enemy."
(Excerpt) Read more at pittsburghlive.com ...
Bill itself was 1805 - Protection of Lawful Comemrce in Arms. The .30-30 ban was an amendment.
The .30-30 amendment - S.AMDT.2619
AMENDMENT NO. 2619
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I understand we have a half an hour; is that correct?
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
Mr. KENNEDY. I yield myself 15 minutes.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Senator wish to send the amendment to the desk?
Mr. KENNEDY. I believe the amendment is at the desk.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
The Senator from Massachusetts [Mr. KENNEDY] proposes an amendment numbered 2619.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The amendment is as follows:
(Purpose: To expand the definition of armor piercing ammunition and to require the Attorney General to promulgate standards for the uniform testing of projectiles against body armor)
On page 11, after line 19, add the following:
SEC. 5. ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION.
(a) EXPANSION OF DEFINITION OF ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION.--Section 921(a)(17)(B) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in clause (i), by striking ``or'' at the end;
(2) in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and
(3) by adding at the end the following:
``(iii) a projectile that may be used in a handgun and that the Attorney General determines, pursuant to section 926(d), to be capable of penetrating body armor; or
``(iv) a projectile for a centerfire rifle, designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability, that the Attorney General determines, pursuant to section 926(d), to be more likely to penetrate body armor than standard ammunition of the same caliber.''.
(b) DETERMINATION OF THE CAPABILITY OF PROJECTILES TO PENETRATE BODY ARMOR.--Section 926 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
``(d)(1) Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Attorney General shall promulgate standards for the uniform testing of projectiles against Body Armor Exemplar.
``(2) The standards promulgated pursuant to paragraph (1) shall take into account, among other factors, variations in performance that are related to the length of the barrel of the handgun or centerfire rifle from which the projectile is fired and the amount and kind of powder used to propel the projectile.
``(3) As used in paragraph (1), the term `Body Armor Exemplar' means body armor that the Attorney General determines meets minimum standards for the protection of law enforcement officers.''.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I mentioned that there had been a homicide in Massachusetts recently, over 18 months. It was juvenile homicide. I ask that the Record be so corrected.
As we all know too well, the debate about gun violence has often been aggressive and polarizing with anti-gun violence advocates on one side of the debate, pro-gun advocates on the other. There are deep divisions in the country on the issue of gun safety, and the current debate on the gun immunity bill has thus far only served to highlight those divisions.
I believe, however, that there are still some principles on which we can all agree. One principle is that we should do everything we can to protect the lives and safety of police officers who are working to protect our streets, schools, and communities.
The amendment I am offering today is intended to close the existing loopholes in the Federal law that bans cop-killer bullets. Police officers depend on body armor for their lives. Body armor has saved thousands of police officers from death or serious injury by firearm assault. Most police officers who serve large jurisdictions wear armor at all times when on duty. Nevertheless, even with body armor, too many police officers remain vulnerable to gun violence.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, every year between 50 and 80 police officers are feloniously killed in the line of duty. In 2002, firearms were used in 51 of the 56 murders of police officers. In those shootings, 34 of the officers were wearing body armor at the time of their deaths. From 1992 to 2002, at least 20 police officers were killed after bullets penetrated their armor vests and entered their upper torso.
Some gun organizations have argued that cop-killer bullets are a myth. The families of these slain police officers know better. In fact, we know that armor-piercing ammunition is not a myth because it is openly and notoriously marketed and sold by gun dealers.
I direct my colleagues' attention to the Web site of Hi-Vel, Incorporated, a self-described exotic products distributor and manufacturer in Delta, UT. You can access its online catalog on the Internet right now. Hi-Vel's catalog lists an entry for armor-piercing ammunition. On that page you will find a listing for armor-piercing bullets that can penetrate metal objects. The bullets are available in packages of 10 for $9.95 each. Hi-Vel carries armor-piercing bullets for both the .223 caliber rifles such as the Bushmaster sniper rifle used in the Washington area attacks in October 2002, and the 7.62 caliber assault weapons. Over the past 10 years, these two caliber weapons were responsible for the deaths of 14 of the 20 law enforcement officers killed by ammunition that penetrated body armor.
In a recent report, the ATF identified three, .223 and the 7.62 caliber rifles, as the ones most frequently encountered by police officers. These high-capacity rifles, the ATF wrote, pose an enhanced threat to law enforcement, in part because of their ability to expel particles at velocities that are capable of penetrating the type of soft body armor typically worn by law enforcement officers.
Another rifle caliber, the 30.30 caliber, was responsible for penetrating three officers' armor and killing them in 1993, 1996, and 2002. This ammunition is also capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating.
It is outrageous and unconscionable that such ammunition continues to be sold in the United States of America. Armor-piercing ammunition for rifles and assault weapons is virtually unregulated in the United States. A Federal license is not required to sell such ammunition unless firearms are sold as well. Anyone over the age of 18 may purchase this ammunition without a background check. There is no Federal minimum age of possession. Purchases may be made over the counter, by mail order, by fax, by Internet, and there is no Federal requirement that dealers retain sales records.
In 1999, investigators for the General Accounting Office went undercover to assess the availability of .50 caliber armor-piercing ammunition. Purchasing cop-killer bullets, it turned out, is only slightly more difficult than buying a lottery ticket or a gallon of milk. Dealers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia informed the investigators that the purchase of these kinds of ammunition is subject to no Federal, State, or local restrictions. Dealers in Alaska, Nebraska, and Oregon who advertised over the Internet told an undercover agent that he could buy the ammunition in a matter of minutes, even after he said he wanted the bullets shipped to Washington, DC, and needed them to pierce an armored limousine or theoretically take down a helicopter. Talk about homeland security.
In a single year, over 100,000 rounds of military surplus armor-piercing ammunition were sold to civilians in the United States. In addition, the gun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, recently introduced a powerful new revolver, the .500 magnum, 4 1/2 pounds, 15 inches long, that clearly has the capability of piercing body armor using ammunition allowed under the current law.
The publication, Gun Week, reviewed the new weapon with enthusiasm: ``Behold the magic, feel the power,'' it wrote.
Many of our leaders will buy the Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum for the same reason that Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest: Because it is there.
Current Federal law bans certain armor-piercing ammunition for handguns. It establishes a content-based standard. It covers ammunition that is, first of all, constructed from tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium, copper, or depleted uranium or, secondly, larger than .22 caliber with a jacket that weighs no more than 25 percent of the total weight of the bullet.
However, there are no restrictions on ammunition that may be manufactured from other materials but can still penetrate body armor. Even more important, there are no restrictions on armor-piercing ammunition used in rifles and assault weapons. Armor-piercing ammunition has no purpose other than penetrating bulletproof vests. It is of no use for hunting or self-defense. Such armor-piercing ammunition has no place in our society--none.
Armor-piercing bullets that sidestep the Federal ban, such as that advertised on Hi-Vel's Web site, put the lives of American citizens and those sworn to defend American citizens in jeopardy every single day. We know the terrorists are now exploiting the weaknesses and loopholes in our gun laws. The terrorists training manual discovered by American soldiers in Afghanistan in 2001 advised al-Qaida operatives to buy assault weapons in the United States and use them against us.
Terrorists are bent on exploiting weaknesses in our gun laws. Just think of what a terrorist could do with a sniper rifle and only a moderate supply of armor-piercing ammunition.
My amendment amends the Federal ban on cop-killer bullets to include a performance standard and extends the ban on centerfire rifles, which include the sniper rifles and assault weapons responsible for the deaths of 17 police officers whose body armor was penetrated by this ammunition.
My amendment will not apply to ammunition that is now routinely used in hunting rifles or other centerfire rifles. To the contrary, it only covers ammunition that is designed or marketed as having armor-piercing capability. That is it--designed or marketed as having armor-piercing capability, such as armor-piercing ammunition that is now advertised on the Hi-Vel Web site.
Bullets that are designed or marketed to be armor piercing have no place in our society. Ducks, deer, and other wildlife do not wear body armor. Police officers do. We should not let another day pass without plugging the loopholes in the Federal law that bans cop-killer bullets.
This is an issue on which mainstream gun owners and gun safety advocates can agree. I urge my colleagues to vote in support of this amendment.
I reserve the remainder of my time. -------------------------------
Kerry voted "Yea", as did my two jerks in the Sinate - Lenin and "I'm pro gun" Stabmenow.
And we all know how big the .30-30 is when it comes to hunting.
Don't know, but more and more sites are requiring that.
As for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, yes that's excerpt-only.
We are winning ~ the bad guys are losing ~ trolls, terrorists, democrats and the mainstream media are sad ~ very sad!
Are some of us just getting the word? They've been under attack at the federal level since 1934, and somewhat earlier in several states.
Damn! And all these years I thought it was a little deer cartridge! Who would've known?
That's what the fliers say every week that I delay in re-upping.
Add anti-gun Liberal RINO's to that list to be voted out!
Like Snarlin' Arlen! 24 years of his Liberalism is enough!
Vote Pat Toomey for U.S. Senate!
And what he can't shove through congress he'll get through his black robe tyrants, he'd appoint to the Supreme Court.
Maybe, but let him sign any extension of the AWB/mag ban and I'll bet he gets an altogether different reception from some gun owners. Like unemployment.