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1: The AR-15 (see "Gun law update: S&W sales") is not a military firearm. Several knowledgeable people argued that it's inaccurate to equate the AR-15 with military use, in Vietnam or otherwise, because the military version is full auto (or select fire) and designated M16. They're right. The AR-15 is basically a non-military version in semi-auto for civilian use, I regret any error. The term AR-15 is like 1911, it's a type of firearm, not a brand, and again, sorry for any lack of clarity. A lawsuit between Bushmaster and Colt took the original AR-15 designation from Colt and made it generic so it's now inaccurate to attribute the rifle to that maker exclusively (the same as a 1911). The Smith and Wesson M&P15 is an AR-15, I said it strongly resembled one.

The point is that the AR-15 is a civilian semi-auto rifle, but officials and the media try to characterize it as exclusively for military use, which it is not. The idea that it only belongs on battlefields, as our president-elect and the Bradys chant is false, since it is designed for civilian hands, NOT the military.

On a related point, some marksmen like to use the term assault weapon. As a wordsmith I object to its detrimental and ambiguous nature, or use as an imprecise substitute for select-fire (semi- or full-auto) firearms, and believe it should be dropped. Assault, properly used, is a type of behavior, not a type of hardware. A position can be assaulted with any weapon or none at all. Weapons imprecisely categorized that way have enormous potential as defensive weapons too, making the term misleading at best.

Enemies of RKBA love the term because they believe it vilifies firearms, and it does for the ignorant. This means it should never be used by RKBA supporters. The military may have adopted its use to poorly describe select fire, but that's simply one more military mistake, confuses the issue, and eats away at our rights. Someone tell the Pentagon to correct their terminology. Assault is a type of behavior. And as one expert suggests, the military term is actually assault rifle, with specific defining characteristics, while assault weapon was invented by gun haters to attack gun rights.

2: Brady legislative policy from prior Gun Law Update: I neglected to mention Brady's goal to permanently record all NICS background check data. Currently all records are destroyed soon after approval to prevent centralized registries of innocent Americans; coupled with the plan to federalize any gun transfer anywhere, this amounts to a national gun registry, currently banned under numerous laws to prevent abuse and tyranny by federal officials; Gun registration, a former vigorous Brady goal, is not mentioned by them anywhere in so many words.


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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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