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Monday, March 31, 2008

Gun Ban Under Fire

Posted By on Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 5:51 PM

By: Allen Johnson

Supporters of law-abiding citizens’ right to bear firearms are firing back at Police Chief Warren Riley’s support of a ban on assault-style weapons. “I think Riley is trying to find another scapegoat for his inability to do anything about the escalating violent crime,” says attorney C.B. Forgotston, who tracked local homicides last year. Forgotston says automatic assault weapons are already illegal and the only difference between semi-automatic weapons and so-called “long guns” is that some “assault-type” weapons have larger magazines. “There is nothing inherently dangerous about an assault-type weapon,” the lawyer says. “It is a myth perpetrated by movies.” A local ban on the long guns would only eliminate their sale to law-abiding citizens and have no effect on violent crime, Forgotston adds. The United States Supreme Court is considering Second Amendment gun rights for the first time since the 1930s. The High Court is pondering a suit brought by a security guard against Washington, D.C.’s ban on personal handguns in homes — a law that has yet to affect the rate of violent crime in the nation’s capitol, says Texas State University criminologist Peter Scharf. Crimestoppers Inc. Executive Director Darlene Cusanza says the nonprofit is teaming up with ATF to unveil a gun hotline aimed at helping citizens report felons with firearms anonymously. 

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