Skip to comments.Mayor to push for ban on military weapons
Posted on 12/22/2006 8:46:39 AM PST by kiriath_jearim
NEW BEDFORD Mayor Scott W. Lang is asking the city's legislative delegation to push for a statewide ban on the sale of military-style weapons including the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle used by a gunman last week to kill two employees and himself at the Foxy Lady SouthCoast.
"I'd like our local delegation to sponsor a bill that takes that type of weapon out of civilian hands ... any type of military weapon," he said. "This is not an appropriate weapon for a civilian to have.
"It's a killing tool. ... It's a weapon that's used to destroy an opposition army. We don't need a battlefield in the middle of our city."
The announcement came as the Foxy Lady opened its doors last night with free food and admissions passes. Mayor Lang said he is still in the process of talking to local legislators, but he expects "an enthusiastic response" to his proposed ban.
He also noted he has strong ties with federal legislators from the area and may discuss the idea of a ban with them.
Both the mayor and Police Chief Ronald E. Teachman have noted that officers were outgunned at the Foxy Lady standoff, with only their sidearms and a single-service rifle.
The AR-15 "has firepower that police do not have available to them, except in extraordinary circumstances," Mayor Lang said.
The AR-15 is the commercial version of the military M-16, and is legal for licensed gun owners to buy.
Although it lacks some of the M-16's capabilities, plans to modify the AR-15 so it matches its military cousin can be found on the Internet.
Although California has banned the AR-15, it is still legal to own and carry in other states.
Scott C. Medeiros, 35, the Foxy Lady gunman, had a Class A license that allowed him to purchase and carry an AR-15, according to police in Freetown, where Mr. Medeiros lived and maintained his firearms permit. The AR-15 was also used by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, the 2002 Beltway snipers.
Marc Folco, award-winning outdoors columnist and author of The Standard-Times' Open Season column, voiced early opposition to Mayor Lang's proposal. He and other gun ownership advocates are meeting with the mayor today, he said.
"The gun itself isn't evil," Mr. Folco said. "It's an inanimate object."
He said the key is keeping guns out of the wrong hands, but conceded that, in the case of Mr. Medeiros, "They did seem like the right hands. There was nothing to tell police otherwise. I think he just snapped."
But he added his belief that the gunman would have been able to do as much damage even without the semiautomatic rifle.
"If (Mr. Medeiros) didn't get an AR-15, he could have used anything to cause that mayhem. He could have made a bomb."
Mr. Folco said he does not own any military-style weapons himself.
"I don't like them," he said. "I would never buy them. But I do believe that people have a right to buy them for target shooting or collecting purposes."
Mayor Lang said he is a supporter of the Second Amendment, but added, "Let's apply some common sense to the Second Amendment and modern technology. Why not a bazooka? Why not a tank? It doesn't make sense."
This isn't the first time a New Bedford mayor has tried to have gun legislation passed. In 2004, Mayor Lang's predecessor, Frederick M. Kalisz Jr., pushed unsuccessfully for a home-rule petition that would have stiffened the penalties for carrying banned weapons within New Bedford and raised the mandatory minimum sentence for illegally carrying a firearm from one year in a county facility to 21/2 years in state prison.
Mr. Medeiros' rampage at the Foxy Lady began at about 2 a.m. Dec. 12 when he entered the strip club with the rifle and fatally shot two employees over a romantic rivalry.
The first police officers to respond to the scene didn't even get a chance to get out of their cruiser before Mr. Medeiros peppered the car with at least 24 bullets. Both of the officers were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
According to Chief Teachman, the bullets cut through the cruiser door panels "like a hot knife through butter."
Both the chief and Mayor Lang said officers involved in the Foxy Lady standoff were outgunned.
Mr. Medeiros' rifle had a range of "1,000 feet and is deadly accurate," far greater than police-issue handguns, Mayor Lang said. The gunman hit police vehicles that were hundreds of yards away, according to police.
Chief Teachman said police are not typically trained to deal with a weapon such as the AR-15.
"Is society still willing to accept that this level of firearm is readily available?" the chief asked. "This is a legal gun, owned by a legal person, who up until (the Foxy Lady shooting) had done nothing wrong, but because he had this level of firepower at his fingertips, he was able to create a very dangerous situation."
Mayor Lang said he would like to see Massachusetts follow California's example and ban the AR-15. "If it's legal, it's a loophole that's got to be closed," he said.
This guy is exactly why I'd buy a military weapon, so that the govt. won't be the only ones with 'em when things go south.
Brilliant legal analysis.
What a dangerous putz. Look at the Second Amendment you swine behind
Well no crap. Handgun vs ANY rifle at 1000 feet and the rifle is gonna be more accurate.
Well, slight error here. Why is it that Liberals feel they have a right to their own set of facts? /rhet.
...here comes the "but"...
...but added, "Let's apply some common sense to the Second Amendment and modern technology.
In other words, "Let's 'interpret' it as we wish.
Why not a bazooka? Why not a tank?
Indeed, why not.
It doesn't make sense."
It makes perfect sense to anyone who does not believe that government "elites" should rule us "unenlightened common folk".
They are statists, every one of them.
Even our president signed off on CFR and agreed to sign the assault weapons ban.
Everyone says that Americans are different than Europeans, that we'll get angry and stand up to Islamic terror. I hope we hurry up and do it, because we are surely heading down the road to sheepdom.
Considering that my deer rifle, a Remington 700 bolt action, is harder hitting and arguably more accurate than an out of the box AR, I guess the mayor wants not just military, but any accurate weapon banned. Anything that outguns a pistol. And no lefty wants handguns left legal.
"Let's apply some common sense to the Second Amendment and modern technology. Why not a bazooka? Why not a tank? It doesn't make sense."
Absolutely right, Mr. Mayor, why not?
What he want's to legislate is the "possiblity of misuse".
Eventually people like him would apply this to printing presses and computers too.
Didn't they use a bolt-action?
--here we go again---
Would they allowed left-handed firearms as they're rare weapons?
The cops were outgunned. WHY? No TAC teams?...don't have the proper equipment?...no training? WHY? No money for training and equipment...in Taxachussets the lib paradise..something smells about this utterance. A PR move for sure.
I don't know that I've ever seen a left handed firearm?
if the gun killed 2 employees and himself, how can he give a statement?
Time's a wastin'.
Don't forget to BLOAT.