By: Teresa Mull
Kamala Harris is trying to one-up her fellow Democratic presidential contenders by announcing she would invoke executive action to ban the import of AR-15s.
Harris wants to ban AR-15-style assault weapon imports and suspend all other assault weapon imports until the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can analyze whether they should be permanently banned under U.S. law. Her campaign argues the weapons could be banned because they aren't "suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes." This includes all 44 AR-type models listed in the latest assault weapons ban that was introduced in Congress.
“When we look at the issue of assault weapons, let’s be very clear: Assault weapons are designed to kill a lot of people in a very short period time,” Harris said. “…We cannot any longer afford to allow people to make this a partisan issue. Those guns, those assault weapons, do not discriminate and determine, OK, is the person pointing it at a Democrat or a Republican. This can no longer be a partisan issue.”
Harris’ proposal is an expansion of other extreme positions she’s taken regarding the Second Amendment. Harris said during a townhall meeting in April:
“Upon being elected I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. And if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action. And specifically what I will do is put in place a requirement that for anyone who sells more than five guns a year, they are required to do background checks when they sell those guns. I will require that for any gun dealer that breaks the law the ATF take their license.”
Harris is not the only 2020 presidential contender to be vying for the anti-gun vote. New Jersey’s junior U.S. Senator, Cory Booker, told a crowd in April he would “bring a fight to the NRA like they have never, ever seen before -- and we will win.” Booker also recently declared, “…There is more regulation over toy guns than real ones.”
ARs Are Not ‘High-Power’ Weapons
GPM’s Peter Suciu reminds us why the AR-15 is the victim of undue censure:
One of the most oft-repeated (and erroneous) criticisms waged against the AR-15 is that it is a “weapon of war” or “military-style assault rifle.” Gun control supporters and ill-informed reporters argue this semi-automatic rifle should be banned because it is a combat weapon. While the AR-15 is, in fact, based on the military’s M-16, there are numerous differences between the two– most notably the fact that the military version offers select fire, meaning it can be switched between semi-automatic and fully-automatic, or burst fire modes.
Now available in a variety of configurations and with modular designs, the AR is one of the most popular choices for semi-automatic rifles in the United States today. The rifle has the ability to mount a scope, forward grip, and other attachments, and, as it’s been said, these features do not make the AR-15 a weapon of war.
The AR is also not a “high-power” weapon. No knowledgeable gun owner considers the AR to be high-powered. It’s also not a “military-style” weapon. The military would not equip soldiers with a weapon that’s incapable of switching into fully-automatic mode. The AR is simply imposing looking to those who don’t know any better, and unfortunately, that’s a lot of people in the mainstream media.
Fearing a firearm because of its design or because it was once a combat weapon is misguided, to say the least. The anti-gun establishment’s habit of doing so shows ignorance, not only of firearms, but also of history, and reveals the glaring holes in their illogical arguments for gun control.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.