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More gun laws aren't the answer


I completely disagree with many of our politicians who recently stated their desires to sponsor or vote for further legislation to ban or make illegal the possession of certain types of firearms.

To be specific, the total banning of “assault weapons” or “high power semi-automatic” firearms. Let me attempt to give you a little history.

The first successful semi-automatic firearm to be produced on a large scale was the Mauser 1896 pistol. It had a 10-round capacity, was very reliable, and its contemporaries were all revolvers that held less ammunition.

Eric BlatterThis was a great advantage to any country's military, so the Mauser Company did a brisk business selling its pistol worldwide. Mauser’s success sparked a revolution in firearms technology.

Machine guns also were in the process of being developed. The machine gun is a firearm that usually fires a military grade rifle cartridge continuously when the trigger is squeezed.

That means that as long as the trigger is held, the firearm will fire from a belt or a box magazine until either is depleted, requiring the firearm to be recharged.

There also are “sub-machine guns,” which fire a pistol caliber cartridge, and true “assault rifles,” which generally today fire a cartridge around the power level of a .30-30 Winchester lever action rifle.

Many citizens mistakenly believe that machine guns are not available to the public.

This is incorrect. From 1896 to 1934, the personal ownership of semi-automatic, or fully automatic, firearms here in America was never an issue. That changed in 1934 with the passage of the National Firearms Act.

Further ownership of fully automatic firearms in the United States was prohibited unless it was registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

This required a registering fee and a background check by the ATF.

The use of some of these firearms by Prohibition era gangsters enabled the law to be passed. The laws regarding the ownership requirements of fully automatic firearms have not changed essentially since 1934.

In 1986, the Firearms Owners Protection Act was passed, and along with other requirements, made it illegal for the manufacture of further fully automatic firearms except for military or law enforcement.

All this law really did was to cause the escalation of price for owning these firearms to the level of purchasing a really nice pickup or a nice parcel of land.

Now I’d like to say that of the many thousands of legally registered, fully automatic Class III firearms possessed in the United States since 1936, to the best of my knowledge, only two of these firearms have ever been used in crimes. It should be obvious that legally possessed machine guns have never been a criminal issue.

The machine guns that were a problem were illegal to begin with. So, criminals do not obey the law.

Why pass more laws banning something that a criminal can, and will, obtain anyway, to the detriment of our society?

Eric Blatter of Sandy has a bechelor's degree in justice. He has worked in corrections and as a machinist. He operates a hobby business as a gunsmith and firearms dealer. He spent 26 years in the National Guard.