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Assault Weapons

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NEWS
June 13, 1989 | By Matthew Purdy, Inquirer Washington Bureau
A three-month government review of imported assault weapons has concluded that some of them are not legitimate sporting weapons. The likely consequence is that further importation of such weapons will be permanently banned. Dot Koester, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said some of the 49 types of semiautomatic rifles reviewed by the bureau failed the "sporting test. " She would not say how many. She said the agency's report was on the desk of bureau director Stephen E. Higgins and within weeks would be forwarded to the White House.
NEWS
May 14, 2008
AS I MOURNED during the funeral for Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, I was struck by the youth of the officers in attendance. Most were no older than my own children. Sgt. Liczbinski was only 39. As I thought about the circumstances that claimed the life of another Philadelphia cop, my sadness turned to anger - and that anger is now directed at legislators in Harrisburg who refuse to stand up to the NRA and pass tough gun-control laws. Sgt. Liczbinski was murdered by a career criminal with an SKS assault rifle, a military killing machine that has no place on our streets or anywhere else in a civilized society.
NEWS
December 1, 2001
Thanks are due to the U.S. Supreme Court, which this week smartly let stand New Jersey's toughest-in-the-nation ban on assault weapons. The 1990 law bans 37 models of semiautomatic firearms and other weapons that are "substantially identical. " Some gun shop owners complained the law was too vague. But it's specific where it should be - in defining assault weapons by capability - without falling into the trap of banning only specific models. That would have created a loophole that look-alike brands could exploit.
NEWS
December 4, 1993 | by John M. Baer, Daily News Staff Writer
Acting Gov. Mark S. Singel, breaking with conventional political wisdom, yesterday called for a statewide ban on assault weapons, and said he'll veto legislation aimed at overturning Philadelphia's ban. He might get the chance. The state House next week is expected to take up a bill passed by the Senate in June that overturns a City Council-passed ban on assault weapons. For Democrat Singel, the issue is packed with politics. The lieutenant governor wants to seek the governorship next year.
NEWS
May 20, 2008
THE DUMBEST argument for not banning assault weapons is "Guns don't kill people, people kill people. " Not true. The bullet tearing through the body, ripping apart vital organs is what kills. The assault weapon that lets off 50 bullets in five seconds and only needs to be pointed in the general direction of the target is a lot more deadly than the handgun that needs to be aimed by someone being fired back at and is a lot less likely to hit its target. Keith Callan, Philadelphia Eloquent commish Watching TV the other day, I saw a black man speaking from a church pulpit.
NEWS
March 1, 2013 | By Alan Fram and Philip Elliott, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - After weeks of arguing constitutional fine points and citing rival statistics, senators wrangling over gun control saw and heard the anguish of a bereft father. Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse, was among those cut down at a Connecticut school in December, asked the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to ban assault weapons like the one that killed his child. "I'm not here for the sympathy or the pat on the back," Heslin, a 50-year-old construction worker, told the senators, weeping openly during much of his hushed 11-minute testimony.
NEWS
December 10, 1993 | by Yvonne Latty, Daily News Staff Writer
The only people using assault weapons are drug dealers, gang members and violent criminals, said Acting Gov. Mark S. Singel. And, he said, it's time to stop them. Singel wants a statewide sales ban on assault weapons and says he'd veto any attempt by the legislature to prohibit local governments from banning assault weapons. A bill in the state House to overturn Philadelphia's ban on assault weapons is expected to be voted on next week. Yesterday, he picked up the support of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Neal, who joined him at a news conference.
NEWS
July 8, 2004 | By Bryan Miller
It will be 10 years in November. Ten years since a man walked into Washington Metropolitan Police Headquarters, climbed the stairs to the second floor, opened the door to the Cold Case Homicide Squad, pulled a Mac-10 assault pistol out from under his jacket, opened fire, and killed two FBI agents and a Washington police sergeant and grievously wounded a third FBI agent. Ten years since one man was able to acquire, conceal and wield sufficient firepower to overwhelm a room full of trained and armed peace officers.
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NEWS
September 23, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
CANADENSIS, Pa. - Search teams combing the dense, rugged woods not far from where two state troopers were shot on Sept. 12 - one fatally - have discovered an AK-47-style assault weapon like the one suspect Eric Frein was known to have. That discovery and other clues, state police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Sunday, convinced authorities the searchers were closing in on the accused killer. "We're pushing him hard," Bivens said. "He's no longer safe there. " With the weapon were two magazine clips of ammunition and a camouflage bag full of ammunition, all partially hidden in tangled forest undergrowth.
NEWS
April 12, 2013 | By Jonathan Tamari, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON -- It was a procedural vote, part of the Senate's arcane process, but it brought tears to the eyes of family members of those killed in Newtown in December. The Senate voted Thursday morning to take the first step toward considering the background-check bill sponsored by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, and West Virginia's Joe Manchin, a Democrat. While the vote will only allow debate to move ahead, it opens the door to up-or-down votes on the background check bill as well contentious plans to ban assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines.
NEWS
April 11, 2013
AN IMPORTANT victory in the efforts to curb gun violence - as well as efforts to bring a little sanity to Congress - could be in the offing Thursday. The Senate will take a procedural vote on gun-control measures, including one bipartisan effort crafted by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to require background checks on all commercial-firearm sales, including those at gun shows and on the Internet. The lack of such checks has created a big loophole for countless guns to be bought and sold to anyone - including criminals and people with mental illness.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
THERE IS something about a late March snowstorm, a gentle finger wagging at us from heaven saying "I'm not finished yet. " There is something maddening in the thought that we do not control the seasons, that all our human capital amounts to nothing in the face of the winds and the rising tides and the steel-colored clouds. It is wholly appropriate that such things happen during this week of miracles, when Jews celebrate deliverance and Christians resurrection. It's a wakeup call that life is gloriously unpredictable.
NEWS
March 27, 2013 | By Cynthia Tucker
Apparently, there will be no ban on assault weapons. Never mind that Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15 assault-type rifle to rip apart the bodies of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Forget the fact that James E. Holmes, the alleged Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooter, fired, among other weapons, an AR-15. Nor does it seem to make any difference that Jared Loughner - the man who shot Gabby Giffords and killed six others, including a 9-year-old girl - used a high-capacity magazine that the Clinton-era assault-weapons ban rendered illegal.
NEWS
March 23, 2013 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The Newtown, Conn., shooting and the images of its young victims were so wrenching that Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey had a change of heart. Long a pro-gun Democrat, Casey reversed his position in late December, saying he would support bans on assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines. He said he knew he was opening himself to criticism by shifting his position less than two months after winning reelection. The criticism may still come - the National Rifle Association expressed its anger this week - but the two measures Casey backed appear doomed.
NEWS
March 22, 2013 | BY EDWARD G. RENDELL
  THE RESPONSES are in to the questions I posed in a recent Daily News op-ed article regarding curbing gun violence . . . or should I say "nonresponses," because all four suburban Republican congressmen and Sen. Toomey refused to tell Daily News readers where they stand on several clear and important questions, specific and narrowly drawn. I am pleased to say that all three Democratic congressmen and Sen. Casey answered every question and said that they would vote to support universal background checks for everyone seeking to purchase a gun, back a ban on any gun clip or magazine with more than 10 bullets and support a ban on assault weapons (though recent actions in Congress have made it doubtful that the assault- weapon ban will ever be put to a vote)
NEWS
March 22, 2013
WEDNESDAY'S New York Daily News ran a front page featuring photos of the children killed in Newtown, Conn., with the words: "Shame on us: Assault weapon bill is dead. " But we disagree: The shame is not on "us," the American people. Don't even blame the NRA. The culprits behind the death of the assault-weapon ban, authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, that was part of other measures heading to a Senate vote, are not anonymous Americans, or faceless members of a powerful gun-rights group.
NEWS
March 21, 2013 | By Ed O'Keefe and Philip Rucker, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday declared politically dead the effort to ban military-style assault weapons, a setback for President Obama and gun-control advocates who are pushing the Senate to move quickly on bills to limit gun violence. Reid is preparing to move ahead with debate on a series of gun-control proposals when the Senate returns from a two-week Easter recess in early April. Although he has vowed to hold votes on measures introduced after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December, Reid told reporters Tuesday that the proposed assault-weapons ban was not holding up against Senate rules that require at least 60 votes to end debate and move to final passage.
NEWS
March 4, 2013 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
For more than an hour, they stood on the corner of Court and Main Streets in downtown Doylestown: young men and elderly women, small-business owners and parents surrounded by children, a local candidate for sheriff, and several men carrying AR-15 rifles. Some waved signs: "Subversive Liar! We Don't Trust U," above a photo of President Obama and a communist hammer and sickle. "Support My Right to Protect My Family at Home. " All told, about 150 people gathered on the street corner Saturday morning - all in town for a brief Second Amendment rally organized by Concerned Gun Owners of Bucks County, a fledgling gun-rights group founded earlier this year by a handful of locals.
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