Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has announced that the ban on assault weapons has been removed from the proposed comprehensive gun control bill. The ban, based on the 1994 — 2004 law which banned the sale of firearms described as "assault weapons" and ammunition magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds, was one of four measures passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee after the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut took the lives of 20 young children and 6 adults.
The proposed ban has been dropped from the legislation heading to the full Senate for debate because it was expected to receive at most 40 votes — far below the threshold to even pass the Senate, let alone defeat the filibuster that would be all but guaranteed had the ban remained.
The ban's sponsor, Senator Dianne Feinstein, could still offer it as an amendment to the gun control bill on the Senate floor in order for it to be voted on. She has, however, acknowledged that the other provisions of the proposed legislation might have a better chance of passing with the controversial assault weapons ban removed.
Those three remaining measures include a universal background check required for all gun sales, strengthen laws against straw purchasers and firearms trafficking, and steps to help improve school safety.
According to Reid, the floor debate on the bill is scheduled to begin shortly after the Senate's upcoming recess in April.
Earlier today, Wayne LaPierre, the CEO and executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, held its first press conference since the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, CT. LaPierre expressed condolences on behalf of the 4 million NRA members, and called for further discussions on how to effectively protect children in what once was the safe haven of their school.
He spoke about gun-free zones, and how politicians and the media praise them for being bastions of safety, while in reality they only advertise the safest places for the most insane or evil people to "inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk".
Banks are commonly protected by armed guards, along with airports, power plants, politicians, and sports stadiums, and LaPierre asks why, "when it comes to the most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family – our children – [do] we as a society leave them utterly defenseless".
Instead of guns being the problem, the NRA believes that some of the true sources are violence in the media and entertainment, the widespread demonization of millions of lawful gun owners, and the "dangerous notion that one more gun ban – or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people – will protect us where 20,000 others have failed".
LaPierre continues, expressing how puzzling it is for the media to assign the human attribute of "evil" to an inanimate object, and in reference to the outcry against the push to use firearms to defend schools, why it seems so difficult for people to grasp "the idea of a gun [being] good when it's used to protect our President or our country or our police, but bad when it's used to protect our children in the schools". He asks everyone to "at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared" had Adam Lanza been immediately confronted by armed and qualified security.
He implored Congress to act immediately to appropriate whatever programs or funding are needed to put armed police officers in every school nationwide, and that this is done before our nation's children return to school in January after the holidays. The NRA is willing, able, and ready to help ensure that this important layer of protection is put into place as quickly as possible.
A model National School Shield Emergency Response program – a multi-faceted program that examines everything from building design, access control, armed security, and training for both teachers and students – will be created for any school that wants it. Asa Hutchinson, a former U.S. congressman, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, and former administrator of the DEA, has been tapped as the head of this effort.
LaPierre concludes by calling on everybody to act now and help protect our children by participating in the National School Shield program, and to not allow politics or personal prejudice to divide us.
The full transcript of this press conference is available at http://home.nra.org/pdf/Transcript_PDF.pdf
After long delays and the possibility of being scrapped, Magpul is now shipping the XTM Hand Stop Kit. It will mount on any rifle with a bottom-railed handguard. This low-profile device acts as both an index point for improved weapon control and a stop to prevent the support hand from being moved too far forward on the rifle.
A mass shooting today at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, CT claimed the lives of 20 young children and 6 adults before the gunman took his own life. The shooter was identified as Adam Lanza, who lived in the same town.
The 20 year-old shooter used a .223 Bushmaster AR-type modern sporting rifle in the attack. He also carried two pistols, a Glock in 10mm Auto and a 9x19mm SIG Sauer, but these were not used except when Lanza committed suicide after the murders. A fourth firearm, a shotgun, was found in the shooter's car. Lanza was reported to have been wearing body armor and a mask, eerily similar to the Aurora movie theater shooting earlier this year.
Among the victims are the principal of the school, Dawn Hochsprung, and a school psychologist. Authorities also discovered the body of the shooter's mother at her son's residence in Newtown.
Reports state that the shooter first entered the school at approximately 9:40 AM, a half hour after the start of classes. The shooting was concentrated to just two classrooms of the school, which enrolls 626 students between kindergarten and fourth grade, and has 46 faculty members. Students in other areas of the school were quietly evacuated to a nearby fire station.
MasterPiece Arms, best known for their Ingram MAC-style pistols and carbines, have announced a new semi-automatic rifle called the MPAR 556. As the name suggests, the MPAR 556 is chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO round, and at first glance it looks like another AR-type rifle.
But it's not an AR-15. Other than the pistol grip, buttstock, and magazines, the MPAR 556 is a completely different design. Underneath the railed, free-floated aluminum handguard is a short-stroke gas piston system. The charging handle is on the left side and does doubly duty as a forward assist. Oh, and there's also a folding stock -- the lack of an AR-15 style buffer tube allows this.
MSRP is $959, placing this rifle smack dab in the price range of an entry-level AR-15. The folding stock alone might be enough to convince someone looking at AR's to seriously consider the MasterPiece Arms MPAR 556, even though it is incompatible with most of the huge variety of AR-15 upgrade parts and accessories on the market.
The package is wrapped up with flip-up sights, a front handguard cap (to help prevent dirt and debris from collecting inside the handguard), and a muzzle brake. Steel parts are black phosphate coated while aluminum parts are hardcoat anodized.
The MasterPiece Arms MPAR 556 rifle will be formally introduced at the 2013 SHOT Show and is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2013.
- Senate Drops the 2013 Assault Weapons Ban
- NRA holds press conference in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting
- Magpul XTM Hand Stop Kit now shipping
- 20 young children and 6 adults among the victims of an elementary school shooting in Connecticut
- MasterPiece Arms announces the MPAR 556 semi-automatic rifle for 2013