The Left’s Imaginary Gun Show Loophole

Jackie Speier and her campaign against “assault weapons.”

If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again until the lie becomes convincing enough to garner a few co-sponsors, is the motto of anti-liberty Democrats in Congress. The latest is California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who is proposing a bill to force the ATF to ban the importation of foreign made semi-automatic sporting firearms, or as she likes to call them—“assault weapons,” a non-existent category of guns made up by progressives to ban ‘scary-looking’ firearms.

The bill is H.R.4748, the “Imported Assault Weapons Ban of 2016”. The proposed bill received the support of 32 other Democrats and bases its definition of assault weapon on the Democrats’ “Assault Weapons Ban of 2015“, which is currently being reviewed by the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. Like the 2015 bill, Speier’s bill will go nowhere but that is not the point, nor is it ever.

The goal is to make political points in an election year and fire up the anti-gun crowd, who intent on imposing their views on their fellow citizens.

When speaking of the bill, Speier said its purpose is to stop the importation of common sporting arms that in her view are “are not suitable or readily adaptable for sporting purposes.”  This is despite the fact that millions of these arms are used every year for sporting purposes and rarely used in acts of violent crime, at least according to FBI statistics. In defiance of the facts, Speier claimed that “cheap foreign assault weapons are a favorite tool of cartels, mass shooters, and even ISIS,” an absurdity that should leave one shaking their heads in disbelief.

What’s even funnier is her characterization of these weapons as “cheap.” Some of the weapons listed in the bill, such as the FN FAL, regularly sell for around $3,000 or more. Few if any murders have ever been committed with them. A quick check at showed one selling for $4,000, and a Steyr Aug, another listed weapon that would be banned under the bill, going for more than $1,600. Even the variants of the AK-47 go for more than $500 or $600 regularly.

I’m not sure what world Speier lives in, but for most people these do not constitute cheap. In all there are 817 weapons listed by name in Speier’s legislation; 660 from the original Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 and 157 added in the 2015 bill.

Then, of course, there is the catchall ban of any semi-automatic weapon that can hold a large detachable magazine, or has a fixed magazine of more than 10 rounds.

That would be pretty much any semi-auto made today and nothing would please Democrats more than banning such weapons.

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