Tuesday, May 25, 2010

NSSF Response to Mexican President's Call to Ban the Modern Sporting Rifle

The NSSF has responded to Calderon's Call to Ban the modern sporting rifle:

NEWTOWN, Conn -- Following calls by Mexican President Felipe Calderon that the United States re-institute a ban on modern sporting rifles, or so-called "assault weapons," the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association for America's firearms industry -- issued the following statement:

"While we respect the work of President Calderon to willingly take on his country's powerful drug cartels, we are disappointed that he, in the name of security, would urge our Congress to reinstitute a failed ban on so-called 'assault weapons.'

"Let's be clear, semi-automatic rifles, demonized as so-called 'assault weapons,' are not machine guns but modern sporting rifles that are used every day by law-abiding Americans for the shooting sports, hunting and home protection. Since 2004, when the Clinton/Gore 'assault weapons' ban expired, modern sporting rifles have fast become one of the most popular types of firearms for law-abiding Americans to purchase.

"Firearms that Congress would label "assault weapons' are functionally no different than any other semi-automatic civilian sporting firearm. They shoot only one shot per trigger pull, no spray firing as some allege, and use the same ammunition as other guns of the same caliber. What differentiates modern sporting rifles from other guns is cosmetic; for example, the type of stock on the firearm.

"According to the Department of Justice, so-called "assault weapons" are rarely used in crimes (less than 2 percent). Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established that banning firearms and ammunition have no effect on crime levels.

"Some 29,000 firearms were recovered in Mexico in 2008, of which approximately 5,000 were traced to U.S. sources. That means more than 80 percent of the firearms recovered in Mexico were not traced to the United States. Furthermore, according to the ATF, those firearms traced were originally sold at retail not recently, but on average 14 years earlier. This is completely inconsistent with any notion that a flood of newly purchased firearms are being illegally smuggled over the border into Mexico. And let's not forget, no retail firearms sale can be made in the U.S. until after a criminal background check on the purchaser has been completed.

"In recent years as many as 150,000 Mexican soldiers, 17,000 last year alone, defected to go work for the drug cartels - bringing their American-made service-issued firearms with them. It has also been well documented that the drug cartels are illegally smuggling fully automatic firearms, grenades and other weapons into Mexico from South and Central America. Such items are not being purchased at retail firearms stores in the United States.

"Even more, investigations and regulatory compliance inspections by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) into firearms trafficking along the Southwest border have confirmed that firearms retailers are law-abiding businessmen and women who are playing a key role in detecting and deterring illegal purchases of firearms. As part of a Project Gun Runner Impact Team firearms trafficking operation, more than 1100 firearms retailers were inspected by ATF. Of these inspections only one retailer license was revoked. One.

"Members of the firearms industry take seriously the criminal acquisition and misuse of their products. This is why our industry supports the Southwest Border Violence Reduction Act of 2009, sponsored by Sen. Bingaman (D-NM) and Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX), and will continue to work cooperatively with law enforcement. For nearly a decade our industry has partnered with the ATF in a national campaign called Don't Lie for the Other Guy that makes the public aware that it is a serious crime to illegally straw purchase a firearm. The program also helps ATF to educate firearms retailers to be better able to detect and prevent illegal straw purchases. It is our hope that Don't Lie will once again receive grant funding from the Department of Justice – a move that would allow NSSF and ATF to further expand this worthwhile program. For the last year, Don't Lie has been financed entirely by members of the firearms industry.

"Again, we applaud President Calderon for taking steps to stop the cartels when past Mexican administrations paid only lip service and allowed rampant corruption to fester. Still, it is wrong for anyone to blame the Second Amendment and America's firearms industry for the problems Mexico is currently facing.

"Sacrificing the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans will not make Mexico safer – especially when the sacrifice is rooted in unfounded allegations and hyperbole. President Calderon would be doing both his country and ours a favor if instead of pushing for already failed crime-control measures, he used his time in the United States to call for proven methods to combat criminal acts, such as putting more cops on the street and more prosecutors in the court rooms.".


PHXIIIper said...

In other words...


Do not tread on me Calderon, focus on your own corrupt country instead of trying to force your failing police state policies on free men and women.

Dustin said...

Well said!

Bob G. said...

Good post, Dustin...
And a excellent comment, PHX!

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