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POLITICS: California Sniper Rifle Ban Goes Into Effect

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posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 02:07 AM
Assembley Bill 50 banning .50 Caliber BMG sniper rifles that passed in September became active on the First of the year. Gun control advocates have stated that the gun, very pricey and used mainly by competitive shooters and collectors, has the possibility for military uses such as assassinations and "bringing down an airplane". In an unprecedented move, this is the first bill of its kind to target a gun that has never been used in a crime. Current owners of the gun must register for a $25 fee or face criminal charges.
On Jan. 1, California became the first state in the nation to ban the .50-caliber long-range rifle, a firearm that gun-control advocates have portrayed as a military weapon that could easily fall into the hands of terrorists trying to assassinate a foreign leader or shoot down an airplane.

Under the new regulations, signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September, it is illegal in California to manufacture, sell, distribute, import or possess a firearm known as the .50-caliber BMG, a powerful single-shot rifle widely used by law enforcement, the military and more recently, by civilian sport shooters.

Those who already own the rifle, considered an assault weapon under the new law, have until April 30, 2006, to register the firearm for $25 or face a misdemeanor charge with a fine up to $500 for first-time offenders.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

"We all think it's the first step toward banning sniper rifles," said Michael Fournier, owner of the Gun Exchange in San Jose, Calif. "They keep chipping away a little at a time. Eventually they'll try to get them all."

What I've said and will always say: precedents matter. Giving an inch allows for yards to be taken. Whether it's privacy rights or foreign aid - enough is never enough. They passed this law for crimes that might possibly, if terrorists buy them, be used in a terror attack. Supposedly bin Laden bought 25 of them. This was another law was passed under the specter of "terrorism".

What continues to amaze me is the fact that many people that support such legislation see the Patriot ACT as an abuse of power but not actions like this.

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 02:33 AM

Im a gun owner myself, and is thier a legitamate use for a 50 cal sniper rifle outside of bringing down a plane, assasinations and the like?

Yes no crimes have been committed using them, not very convient to knock off a liquor store, but is there really a need for them?

BTW, Bin laden and the Mudjahadeen were given the 50 Cal Barrett sniper rifles during the Soviet invasion. Thats where they got them from by and large.

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 02:51 AM
I'm sure the collectors and competion shootists would contend that they have very legitimate reasons to own one. Like I said, precedents matter. What's the point of owning this particular weapon? Or any high powered rifle? And so on and so on.

Being someone that adheres strictly to the 2nd Amedendment it's really enough for me. I personally don't feel the least bit threatened by someone owning this rifle.

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 02:59 AM
One interesting tidbit, the local TVnews here, Im in the SF Bay Area, hardly made a mention. I made the assumption that it was a Northern California paper, but it was Seattle. Interesting that its not really big news here??

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 03:10 AM
Not fitted for liquor stores, but might do some harm when aimed at the fuel tanks of Air Force One, looks like you have give up some more rights for the wellbeing of your president....

[edit on 5-1-2005 by Countermeasures]

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 04:51 AM
Well this is a sign some Americans are taking a smarter apporch to gun ownership. Mayabe there is a case for people who belong to gun clubs but there is no need for guns outside of the shooting range and the military. I sometimes wonder if some people wanted to overthrow the government in the USA they wouldnt need to go far for some of the arms that would be needed.
Is the rifle used by hunters?

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 05:38 AM
.50 cal sniper rifle- that has to be an oxymoron.

A 223/5.56 or 7mm mag maybe, but a 50 is was just puffery. The 50 may be super long range (forget the astronomical bullet drop) and pack one terrible amount of energy but so does a cannon.
    3,000 meter range, 661 grain (full metal jacket) is there truly a legitimate use for something like this? At somewhere around $6,000 who is going to waste time on varmints. One MOA (minute of angle) accuracy- wow. So at 2,000 meters (mid-range) luckily you will only miss your target by 2.38 centimeters (.94 of an inch).

Now add in just a tad bit of wind, wow- a clear miss. At $35 US a box you could just soot again, after all a 5 round magazine would provide lots of time to bruise the old shoulder while trying to waste (kill) that neighbor's pesky cat, right?

Then the 20mm models- get real. Next, 40mm grenade launchers are going to be argued as legitimate varmint weapons.

It's dumb things like this (the 50) that give gun ownership not only a bad name but lay a target on the back of every person in society. Thumbs down to 50s!

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 07:49 AM
I've always interpereted the 2nd amendment right to bear arms as having several purposes:
1. So that civilians may protect themselves against criminals who are going to acquire these weapons anyways.
2. So that civilians could defend themselves in the worst case scenario of homeland invasion.
3. One of the biggest reasons (That noone ever talks about, because it's taboo), was probably to keep the government in line. It was written just in case the government got out of hand, because quite frankly, this form of government was pretty darn new, and untested.

If you don't think the above reasons are important enough to defend this right to hell-or-high-water, then I don't know what else to say...

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 07:59 AM
Do not fall into the anti-gun trap of legitemate use of any weapon. It is a right period. Also this garbage about "criminals" not having guns.....The founders didn't say the "right to keep and bear arms" (except criminals). Anyone should be able to own any weapon. No exceptions.

The 50 cal is an outstanding sniper rifle. It is in military use now. I had a 338 winchester magnum. It worked very well.

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 09:30 AM
What difference does it make?

The second amendment gives the right to bear arms for mainly ONE reason. Self defense against ALL enemies foreign and domestic. The need for us to be able to fight the American Government should be becoming more apparent every day.

There I said it.

The Amendment is not so we can hunt rabbits or shot cans its so we can defend our FREEDOM from ANY who would take it, including those in power. If you will read the writings of Jefferson and others at the time, the intent was a last line of defense against us ever becoming "ruled" instead of "governed".

So yes there IS a legit reason for owning the 50s and a good arguement could be made for almost any other weapon.

Yall know me and I dont run around this board crying wolf, we are HANDING them our freedom.

Maybe we need to be slaves

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 10:03 AM
another idiotic gun ban, doesn't surprise me, not at all, especially in california, land of the blonde, home of the tan. this rifle has uses- to teach distance shooting- something that some of our population should know how to do. just as the constituation allows and, depending on how you read it, REQUIRES "we, the people" to have MILITIAs across the country, so does it allow and require for the training of those militias. in case it were ever necessary, distance shooting should be taught to certain individuals in these militias and the weapons by which this sort of operation can be carried out, available.

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 11:35 AM
The absolute *worst* reason to pass legislation, ban anything, or remove a right is because "we don't see a need for it". Doesn't matter if it's a hobby you don't understand, a musical style you don't like, an opinion you don't agree with, or a technological device that seems redundant.

the whole "there's no need (that our shortsighted political weasels can see) for this weapon/vehicle/right/process, so let's legislate/regulate/ban it" is a very very dangerous precedent. And it's a demonstrated dangerous prcedent, because we're seeing it used in federal, state and local government to remove "unnecessary" rights. The right to send email without monitoring (there's no need for anonymity, and it can be used by criminals), the right to travel without getting red-flagged by some hidden database (there's no need fo you to know what's stored on you),... I'm sure even the most insanely liberal amongst you can see where this leads.

Next on the "we don't see a need for" rights to be curtailed or taken away: the right to drive (there's the Internet, you don't need to drive to the store or work, and it's Bad For The Environment and Dangerous), and the right to have and use cash (With credit cards and banks, you have no reason to use untraceable cash unless you're a Criminal).

But the paranoid elite will steer the sheeple, to ban the equalizers in society that keeps them from running roughshod over the general public, and the liberal media will continue to crow triumph and help to remove the firearms that the elite and their private police forces carry. Why do they fear firearms so? Why are they so afraid that the people will rise up and be violent towards them, if they're such worldly, wise and good people? Why do all the private homes of entertainment, media and political elite in Santa Monica (for example) all have signs for security companies that deliver an "armed response"?

Why is it I have personally lost many more rights to these "freedom loving, tolerant" left wingers than I have due to the Patriot Act and the right wing that seems to get all the flak here? So far, all I've lost from the current administration is the right to fly without taking off my shoes.

"The Second's not just a good idea, it's the LAW!"

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 11:37 AM
Wow, that's good to know that there is no legitimate use for a .50 sniper rifle... I always thought anti-materiel/psy-ops sniping was a pretty legit part of prosecuting modern war. Does anyone remember the revolutionary war? Really look at the deciding factors in it, a. we didn't march in lines and face the british in rows b. we not only had parity with the british army but a superior rifle.
So next time another gun gets taken away just think about it for a minute, why would they be afraid to let us keep guns that are mostly for beer can hunting at this point?

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 01:49 PM
Well we all knew this bit of legislative ridiculousness was going to pass I guess all we can do know is hope it gets overturned.

I suppose they'll be trying to ban magnums next because "they have no purpose other then penetrating body armor and they are a risk to police officers".

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 02:07 PM
FredT says:

"Im a gun owner myself, and is thier a legitamate use for a 50 cal sniper rifle outside of bringing down a plane, assasinations and the like? Yes no crimes have been committed using them, not very convient to knock off a liquor store, but is there really a need for them? "

Why do you ask that? Are you suggesting that it's okay to outlaw something because there's "no need" for that thing?

I find that rather strange. I'm hearing an argument for banning something, not because it has ever been used in a crime, or not even because it probably would be used in a crime (because of its size), yet we'll ban it because there's "no need" for it.

using that logic, I suppose you would not have any problem with banning Ferraris, jalapeno peppers -- or ATS itself.

I mean, is there really a need for such?

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 04:26 PM
The next thing they'll ban is the Desert Eagle .50 caliber Action Express...

Then .44s, .357s, 45ACPs...

Before you know it, the only guns you will have in California is a .22LR single shot rifle!

the Netherlands is the worst country to be at for owning firearms, they have banned all firearms for self defense, you can own them for shooting on the range and on game but it's very restricted.

It's a crime to use a firearm in anyway other than these purposes, including defense.

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 04:33 PM

Originally posted by GrOuNd_ZeRo
It's a crime to use a firearm in anyway other than these purposes, including defense.

That Is Insane

So a woman would be arrested for shooting the man trying to kidnap her kid or rape her? Self defense is illegal?

[edit on 5-1-2005 by Amuk]

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 04:47 PM
FredT > actually its believed that the dude who went on a rampage with the armored bulldozer had a Barett .50 mounted in the rear, though apparantly he never fired it. After some searching it seems to be a grey area where some believe he never had the weapon, others say he did. I have a sneaking suspicion that this incident is the whole reason for the law in California.

As for the law itself, I think its basically a crock of schei. The guns and ammo are so expensive that normal unhinged people cant get ahold of them, so its only the rich unhinged flakes that are at risk of using the guns.

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 04:57 PM

Originally posted by FredT
Yes no crimes have been committed using them, not very convient to knock off a liquor store, but is there really a need for them?

I'm sure some people actually travel and hunt big game. However, they're not saying you can't have these guns, they're just making people register them, correct? Are they saying you won't be able to purchase them anymore if you live in CA?

So a woman would be arrested for shooting the man trying to kidnap her kid or rape her? Self defense is illegal?

In some states, it's actually legal for women to shoot people in self defense. In other words, as long as they say they were being attacked, shooting is justified. I've always been leary of that one, since it could easily be abused by any angry woman.

posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 04:58 PM
Good replies mostly. I have to agree that you would be hard pressed to find a street criminal willing to shell out $8,000 for a rifle with a 110 lb recoil. The .50 could not be effectively used as a covert assanination tool as sub-sonic ammo would defeat the range capabilities of the weapon. Not to mention that ALL armor piercing ammunition is already heavily regulated.
My guess is that Feinstein needed another "scary gun" ban to make her feel better after the pointless Federal "Assault Weapon" ban expired (finally).

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