Congress Shoots Down Gun Measures - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/02/04

Congress Shoots Down Gun Measures

D'Iberville gun shop manager Mike Creel shows us an assault weapon.

"That's a civilian version of an AK-47. It's not a fully automatic, this is semi-automatic."  

The gun is perfectly legal, but only after some alterations were made to it. 

"This version was banned, but now there's enough American made parts in here. So we've got the same gun again, in reality, except there's not a bayonet lug on here," Creel says.

The 1994 crime bill made some of the assault guns in Creel's shop illegal, but he says once they were outfitted with parts made in this country, they became legal to buy, use and trade.

In September, a ten year ban will expire on the manufacture and importation of military style assault weapons. Creel says gun laws are needed, but he says all out bans don't work. 

"Somebody can fly in a container full of firearms, just like they can fly in a container of cocaine. And they're not flying them in for people like you and I. They're flying them in for people who are going to use them for criminal purposes. So that's how you get around bans."

Police say bans reduce the number of weapons on the street, but anyone who wants a gun will get it.

Captain Darren Peterson of the Biloxi Police Department says, "As far as keeping them out of people's hands, it's kind of like a lock on the door. It's going to stop honest people and some dishonest people... People who really want these weapons are probably going to find a way to get them."

byMarcia Hill

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