Gov Andrew Cuomo's definition of an assault weapon

Cuomo wants to go after "high powered" rifles such as the Bushmaster.  If a .223 caliber gun is considered "high powered," one has to wonder what type of rifles will be allowed.
“I say to you forget the extremists. It’s simple — no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer and too many people have died already,” Cuomo said. 
 No, but you can need that many bullets for self-defense.  The problem is that once a gun can take a magazine, it can take a magazine of any size.  Magazines are simple metal boxes with a spring in them and they are very easy to make and they soon may become even easier.  Might as well ban all semi-automatic guns that accept magazines.  Problem is that would limit people's ability to defend themselves.

Jacob Sullum has a nice discussion here.
It is not clear what the Times means by "high-powered rifles." The definition of "assault weapon" has nothing to do with caliber, muzzle velocity, firing rate, or the number of rounds that can be fired before reloading (although a separate provision of New York's law bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds if they were made after September 13, 1994, as did the federal law). The reference to "high-powered rifles" suggests that "assault weapons" are distinguished by their killing capacity, which is not true, since their defining characteristics are essentially aesthetic. To muddy matters further, the Times says manufacturers who obey legislators' dictates concerning the appearance of their guns "have altered their products to circumvent the law," which makes no sense at all when you think about it. The law says you can't sell a rifle that accepts a detachable magazine and has two or more of those five suspect features, so manufacturers stopped selling such rifles in New York. That is complying with the law, not circumventing it. . . .
Further note.
New York's effort was hastened further by the Christmas Eve killings of two firefighters in western New York by a man who set his neighborhood on fire, lay in wait with a high-powered rifle for responders, shot them and killed himself. Webster residents related to the firefighters were honored guests at the State of State address. . . .
Notice that as a convicted felon it was illegal for the shooter in Webster to have any guns.

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Blogger Pete said...

Not sure if you've seen this short overview of the impact of the Federal "assault weapons" ban so in the event not I'm posting here.


1/10/2013 5:39 AM  
Blogger Chas said...

Everyone needs 30 rounds to kill a tyrant.

1/10/2013 8:47 AM  
Blogger John DuMond said...

Let's see, the national murder rate for 2011 is the lowest it's been since 1963. New York's murder rate is even lower than the national average. Rifles of any type, including "assault weapons" were used in 0.65% of all murders in 2011. But according to Cuomo, "Gun violence has been on a rampage..." And the solution to said "rampage" is to ban guns that are very seldom used to commit murder? This is nothing more than demagoguery against lawful gun owners, a class of people that Cuomo and his ilk despise.

1/10/2013 9:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Scholler said...

It's funny but most of these gun grabbers don't know the mechanics of these firearms at all. What they consider an assault rifle is technically a semi-automatic rifle that cosmetically looks like an assault rifle. Using the terminology properly, the assault rifle is a fully automatic firearm. Change the stock and a few cosmetic details and their "assault" rifles will look and function exactly like a sporting or hunting rifle. And if they have a problem with single action or double action firearms, don't you think it's a little too late to ban this 100+ year old technology? If the technology is so awful, why did the US Patent Office then grant Patents 7,613 and 7,629 to Samuel Colt in 1850?

As far as high capacity magazines or clips are concerned, they are required in certain situations: Let's assume you need more than 10 cartridges (especially .22LR's) to defend yourself in your home against several attackers. A magazine limited to 10 bullets or less is only a death sentence for the homeowner.

Instead of trying to fulfill an agenda we should be asking ourselves this in order to get at the root of the problem and to prevent another Sandy Hook: why do teens and young adults today think its necessary to go into a school and randomly execute defenseless citizens? Or what is causing them to do so? They certainly aren't committing these crimes because of the gun. Something else is creating a motive here---the firearm itself does not produce a motive.

1/10/2013 1:45 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

30-round magazines are for killing tyrants, a fact of which Cuomo is all too painfully aware, though he has no problem with his bodyguards carrying substantial-sized magazines in their guns. Apparently, even 10-round magazines in the hands of private citizens scare the heck out of him. Why is that? What exactly is he afraid of?
Tell us Andrew, since you're such authority on magazines, exactly how many rounds do your bodyguards carry in their magazines?

1/10/2013 4:13 PM  

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