June 15, 2007

Liberal Senators Seek To Equate .50 BMG Rifles To Poison Gas, Grenades, Mines

If ever there has been a bill introduced in Congress to ban something based completely on fear and in the complete absence of any actual problem, S.1331, the so-called "Long-Range Sniper Rifle Safety Act of 2007" may be a perfect example.

The bill, introduced to the Senate on May 8 by Dianne Feinstein and co-sponsored by Senators Kennedy, Levin, Menendez, Mikulski, Clinton, Durbin, Boxer, Lautenberg, Shumer and Dodd (Democrats all), seeks to classify all firearms chambered for .50 BMG and similar calibers as "destructive devices" under the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the National Firearms Act of 1934.

Presently, the "destructive device" ban in both laws refers to poison gas, bombs, grenades, rockets, missiles, and mines.

These Senators are attempting to equate large caliber target rifles with poison gas and bombs under the law. Why?

Fear and Ignorance:

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), today introduced legislation to regulate the transfer and possession of .50 BMG caliber sniper rifles, which have extraordinary firepower and range (more than a mile with accuracy, with a maximum distance of up to four miles). These combat-style weapons are capable of bringing down airliners and helicopters that are taking off or landing, puncturing pressurized chemical storage facilities, and penetrating light armored personnel vehicles and protective limousines.


"These are combat-style weapons designed to kill people efficiently and destroy machinery at a great distance. This legislation would regulate these dangerous combat weapons, making it harder for terrorists and others to buy them for illegitimate use," Senator Feinstein said. "This legislation doesn't ban any firearms; it would only institute common-sense regulations for the sale of these dangerous sniper rifles."

Capable of bringing down airliners and helicopters? A .50 BMG rifle must make huge holes in aircraft to do that, wouldn't you think?

Not so much.

Thi is the rough difference between the diameter of a .50-caliber bullet (left) and the extremely common .30-caliber rifle (right).


Now, take into account that a typical .50-caliber rifle is roughly five-feet long weighs around 30 pounds, requiring them to be shot from a bipod or some other sort of support, and virtually all .50-caliber rifles use telescopic sights. Most are also single-shot, bolt-action firearms.

Feinstein and the other Democrat Senators sponsoring this bill are asking you to believe that a terrorist "super-sniper" can somehow heft a 30-pound gun and wingshoot an airliner like a clay pigeon.

The odds of a sniper hitting an airliner moving in three dimensions faster than a NASCAR stock car is infinitesimal; the odds of Feinstien's hypothetical terrorists actually bringing down a plane verge on the impossible.

What of the threat of a terrorist using such a rifle to penetrate a chemical storage tank or rail car?

According to a builder of such pressurized vessels, also virtually impossible:

When asked about the alleged threat of .50cal rifles to his railcars, Mr. Darymple said that they have long tested their cars against almost every form of firearm, to include .50BMG and larger. When asked what happens when a .50 hits one of his tanks he said with a shrug "It bounces off." He went on to point out that railcars are designed to survive the force of derailing, and collision with other railcars at travel speeds. By comparison the impact of a bullet, any bullet, is like a mosquito bite.

It also goes without saying that if terrorists did desire to take down an airliner, or blow up a railcar or chemical storage tank, they are far more likely to acquire smaller, less obtrusive, more accurate, purpose-built or improvised devices already covered under federal law.

So what is the true purpose of the bill, when the stated purposes simply don't make sense?

Only the Senators themselves know for certain, but I’d be willing to bet it comes wrapped in a cloak of fear and ignorance.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 15, 2007 03:31 PM

Civilians have had .50BMG rifles since the end of WWII. Until '68 we had .55 Boyes and 20mm Lahti as well.

How many crimes have been committed with these weapons?

Less than 10.
Probably less than 5.
I have only been able to verify 2.
In 60 years.

There was no reason but hysteria for listing the Boyes and Lahti as destructive devices in '68 and now they are trying again go the .50BMG.
If they get it, they will be back next year for the Sharps Big 50.

Posted by: GeorgeH at June 15, 2007 04:08 PM

I'm all for the ban!!! (and I thought I'd never get rid of that experimental .49 cal wildcat)

Posted by: Fredrick at June 15, 2007 09:16 PM

It really makes one wonder if all the pompas
do nothings from Bush on down have lost their
collective minds or they just want to feel good.
Hey guys we got something done..."BFD".They can't
fix the boarder or help the troops in the sand
box but we can get rid of those nasty big guns..
But then a person with some Ammonium nitrate,some
model airplane fuel and a cell phone can do a
lot more damage...

Posted by: Tincan Sailor at June 16, 2007 11:01 AM

"The bill, introduced to the Senate on May 8 by Dianne Feinstein and co-sponsored by Senators Kennedy, Levin, Menendez, Mikulski, Clinton, Durbin, Boxer, Lautenberg, Shumer and Dodd (Democrats all)"

My god, it's the quisling all stars.

This is ridiculous. I can't believe these people get the right to decide that a gun too big, and at the same time you can still buy a gun that bigger. Idiots.

Posted by: jbiccum at June 16, 2007 03:19 PM

The largest pumpkin cannons have a range over a mile.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at June 16, 2007 04:57 PM

Meh. Most murderers won't be able to get their hands on a .50 rifle, it's damn expensive. Plus, it's hard to set up, and you can't be standing up with it.

Hell, you can fire the .477(?) T-Rex standing up, but it'll fly out of your hands and it's really, really loud.

I don't think that stupid gangbangers from LA or sicko mass murderers will get their hands on the .50. If Congress would just ban weapons from high-crime areas (like Los Angeles, New York City, anywhere with a high crime rate), there'd be a lot less murders. San Fran (despite the moonbats) banned weapons, and not a lot of chavs reside in San Fran anyway.

Posted by: the_velociraptor at June 16, 2007 06:02 PM

If Congress would just ban weapons from high-crime areas

Ummm, felons are already banned from owning firearms.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at June 16, 2007 10:19 PM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 06/18/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Posted by: David M at June 18, 2007 09:42 AM

More information on your Senators’ and House Representatives voting record on gun issues of can be found at:

For more information or call our hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART.

Posted by: Project Vote Smart at June 18, 2007 05:09 PM

Avenger, too many felons in LA still get their hands on weapons and make LA a shitter place to live, and duh, through illegal means, they get the weapons.

What I was saying, people could stop bitching about how the Swiss and Canada own guns, yet don't kill each other, if the US would crack down on illegal dealers.

Posted by: the_velociraptor at June 20, 2007 12:12 AM

What they should really do is introduce a bill to outlaw birds. These foul creatures have been hitting and downing aircraft as far back as 1905 when Orville was flying around:

"… flew 4,751 meters in 4 minutes 45 seconds, four complete circles. Twice passed over fence into Beard's cornfield. Chased flock of birds for two rounds and killed one which fell on top of the upper surface and after a time fell off when swinging a sharp curve." -Orville Wright Diary, 1905

Since 1988, bird strikes have resulted in 195 deaths and costs the aviation industry around $600 million annually.

Posted by: Dan Irving at June 20, 2007 01:20 PM