SOME members of congress push for AWB
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SOME members of congress push for AWB

This is a discussion on SOME members of congress push for AWB within the Politics forums, part of the Main Category category; U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs The alarming prevalence of imported assault weapons in the US has put our nation’s ...

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    Default SOME members of congress push for AWB

    U.S. House Committee on Foreign AffairsThe alarming prevalence of imported assault weapons in the US has put our nation’s police officers at risk. Returning to the Bush 41/Clinton enforcement of the ban on imported assault weapons will protect our brave police forces and all people throughout New York and the United States,” said Rep. Engel.

    Engel added that returning to enforcement of the imported assault weapons ban is “a no-brainer that would require no legislative action.”

    In recent years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has quietly abandoned enforcement of the import ban (which was authorized by provisions in the 1968 Gun Control Act and enforced by Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton). As a result, the civilian firearms market is flooded with imported, inexpensive military-style assault weapons, primarily from former Eastern bloc countries including Romania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia. Importers are also able to skirt the restrictions by bringing in assault weapons parts and reassembling them with a small number of US-made parts. Assault weapon “parts kits” for assembly by individuals are also being imported. ATF has further weakened the prohibition by placing certain extremely problematic assault rifles on the "curios or relics" list, making certain firearms automatically eligible for importation.

    "Our failure to enforce restrictions on imported assault weapons is affecting our bilateral relationship with Mexico," said Rep. Engel. "We must do more to support our friends in Mexico whose drug war is fueled by firearms flowing south from the United States, many of which should never have entered the US in the first place.”

    5,661 people died in Mexico in 2008 alone as a result of drug-related violence. This is more than double the 2007 total of 2,773. Over 90% of firearms confiscated yearly in Mexico orginate in the United States. As Chairman of the House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, Rep. Engel is a strong supporter of the Merida Initiative – a US-Mexico security partnership announced in late 2007. However, he also believes that the US must fulfill certain domestic obligations under the Merida Initiative, including an enhanced commitment to curb the illegal trafficking of firearms from the US into Mexico.

    The full text of the letter and signatories are below:


    Dear Mr. President:

    We write to urge you to return to enforcement of the ban on imported assault weapons, including those that are fully manufactured abroad as well as those imported as parts, which was previously enforced during the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. We believe that this issue has important implications for domestic public safety, homeland security, and our bilateral relationship with Mexico.

    In the last eight years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has almost completely abrogated the ban on imported assault rifles. This ban – first established nearly 20 years ago – was authorized by provisions in the 1968 Gun Control Act allowing ATF to prohibit the importation of firearms and ammunition that are not “particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” The import restriction is independent of the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, and was not affected by its “sunset” in 2004.

    The ban on assault weapon imports was first enforced by the George H.W. Bush Administration in response to growing threats to law enforcement personnel from the increased use of assault weapons by drug traffickers and in mass shootings, like the Stockton schoolyard massacre in 1989. The import restrictions were later strengthened in 1998 by the Clinton Administration to address foreign manufacturers that were evading the ban by making minor cosmetic changes to their weapons. The definition was changed to include any assault rifle with the "ability to accept a detachable large capacity magazine originally designed and produced for a military assault weapon.”

    Unfortunately, in recent years, ATF has quietly abandoned enforcement of the import ban. As a result, the civilian firearms market is flooded with imported, inexpensive military-style assault weapons from primarily former Eastern bloc countries including Romania, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia. Importers are also able to skirt the restrictions by bringing in assault weapons parts and reassembling them with a small number of US-made parts. Assault weapon “parts kits” for assembly by individuals are also being imported. ATF has further weakened the prohibition by placing certain extremely problematic assault rifles on the "curios or relics" list, making certain firearms automatically eligible for importation.

    The noxious results of reversing long-established policy extend beyond our borders and are directly affecting our foreign policy. Assault weapons are being smuggled in bulk from U.S. border states to Mexico where they are used by narco-traffickers to fuel a drug war that is killing Mexican law enforcement and other officials at alarming rates.

    The violence in Mexico has reached crisis proportions. In December, Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora reported that the total number of organized crime-related homicides in 2008 had reached 5,700, more than double the previous record of approximately 2,700 set in 2007. The 2008 total includes 944 people killed in November alone, the deadliest month in Mexico’s history, in terms of drug violence. In addition, the Attorney General confirmed that nearly 15 percent of the victims of the violence were members of law enforcement or the military. He also projected that the country’s drug violence has not yet peaked, and is expected to continue during the first few months of 2009. When the Merida Initiative was announced in October 2007, the George W. Bush Administration made a commitment to “intensify efforts” to combat the trafficking of guns from the U.S. into Mexico. A return to the enforcement of the ban on the import of all assault weapons would help us to live up to this commitment.

    Not only is the violence in Mexico already spilling over the border into the U.S., but the prevalence of imported assault weapons in the hands of criminals has made “officer survival” a critical issue for many urban law enforcement agencies. The Miami Police Department has reported a steep rise in the number of murders and other crimes committed with assault weapons; a Romanian WASR-10 (AK-type) assault weapon was used to kill two Fairfax, Virginia police officers in 2006; a Romanian WASR-10 assault weapon was used in a mass shooting that left eight dead at a mall in rural Omaha, Nebraska in 2007. The Associated Press conducted an analysis showing that the number of AK variants traced to crime by ATF has increased from 1,140 in 1993 to 8,547 in 2007.

    These are just the sort of incidents and statistics that prompted the George H.W. Bush Administration to take action to halt assault weapons imports in 1989, and we believe demonstrate the importance of returning to enforcing the import ban once again.

    We ask that you direct ATF to act in accordance with the 1968 Gun Control Act and return to enforcing the ban on the import of all assault weapons, both those that are fully manufactured abroad as well as those imported as parts. By restoring these important restrictions, we will be able to help reduce violence here in the United States, while also sending an important signal to our friends in Mexico. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

    Sincerely,

    1. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY)
    2. Michael N. Castle (R-DE)
    3. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
    4. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
    5. Christopher Smith (R-NJ)
    6. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
    7. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
    8. Nita Lowey (D-NY)
    9. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
    10. Bob Filner (D-CA)
    11. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
    12. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
    13. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA)
    14. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)
    15. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
    16. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
    17. David Price (D-NC)
    18. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
    19. Edward Markey (D-NA)
    20. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
    21. Jim Moran (D-VA)
    22. Robert Wexler (D-FL)
    23. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
    24. Brad Sherman (D-CA)
    25. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
    26. Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
    27. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
    28. Jose Serrano (D-NY)
    29. John Conyers (D-MI)
    30. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
    31. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
    32. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
    33. John Olver (D-MA)
    34. Betty McCollum (D-MN)
    35. Rush Holt (D-NJ)
    36. Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
    37. Albio Sires (D-NJ)
    38. Betty Sutton (D-OH)
    39. Donna Christensen (D-VI)
    40. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
    41. Sam Farr (D-CA)
    42. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
    43. Lois Capps (D-CA)
    44. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
    45. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
    46. Michael McMahon (D-NY)
    47. Donna Edwards (D-MD)
    48. Tim Bishop (D-NY)
    49. Pete Stark (D-CA)
    50. Doris Matsui (D-CA)
    51. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
    52. Paul Tonko (D-NY)
    53. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
    REVOLUTION: Idea's spread they cannot stop them an idea who's time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government!- Ron Paul

  2. #2
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    Thank goodness my reps are not on this list... I'm getting tired of writing nasty letters to them.

  3. #3
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    CathyInBlue is offline Tool Maker
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    No one from Indiana. Good.

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    I do not see our immediate House Rep in the list, but I do see a Detroit Democrate in the list. I am sure he is getting a 2nd Ammendment Flier for the July 4th Mailing.
    Semper Fi

  5. #5
    wolfhunter Guest

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    Two Florida Dems, probably elected by those in Florida who caused such a stir a few years ago by not knowing how their ballot worked.

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    Glockster20's Avatar
    Glockster20 is offline Clinging to God and guns
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    Nobody from AL either. Both AL senators are pro 2A.... However, Senator Jeff Sessions(R) did give the nod to Eric Holder for Attorney General. I have received great letters from him stating that he would oppose ANY legislation that would infringe on our 2A rights. So, I do not understand his reasoning on the Holder appointment. Senator Richard Shelby(R) was a "nay" on Holder. My representative Spencer Bachus(R) is also very pro 2A.

    By the way, I have decided to get back into the AK scene. I just bought a Romanian AK-47 WASR off of gunbroker.com. I used to have a Norinco MAK-90 (milled receiver), a Chinese AK-47 knockoff. I hated the thumbhole stock on that thing. Anyway, I sold it about ten years ago thinking I would get something else later. Well, with all the talk about reinstating the AWB and soaring prices, I took the plunge and placed a bid. Lo and behold I won the auction and soon will be the proud owner of an AK once again. Then the mods can begin

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