Missing the mark on gun laws

May 16, 2013 

The ridiculous letter from reader James J. Harrigan in last Friday's BND is a great example of why it is impossible to educate ignorant citizens about the real issues of guns.

Harrigan states: "Most of the military weapons have a selector switch to go from semi to full automatic." While true, this has no bearing on any gun question because no one legally owns a real military weapon that fires full automatic unless licensed Class III (and in Illinois a Class III dealer.). It has been illegal for regular citizens to own a full automatic firearm since the 1930s.

The firearms under attack by anti-gun zealots are all semi-automatic firearms like those that have been used by everyone for more than 100 years for all purposes. Although sporting arms some look like a military rifle, the switch selects semi-automatic or safe. Real AK-47s and AK-74s are full-automatic military weapons but no one legally owns or uses them for any civilian purposes and no one is asking to.

The mention of hunting also has nothing to do with the Second Amendment and no one is hunting with anything full-automatic. Also, background checks are already being accomplished and have been for some time. Illinois residents also have a Firearms Owner Identification Card which must be renewed every five years so this is a non-question. There is already a waiting period when purchasing any firearm.

Jim Schild

Columbia

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