June 27, 2008

SHOCKER: Associated Press Gets Facts Wrong in Gun Story

In a story about the Federal ATF raid to confiscate assault rifles (real ones for a change) that Blackwater International held in a secure vault for the local Camden County Sheriff that owns them, Associated Press report Mike Baker twice claims that it is illegal for private citizens or companies to purchase automatic weapons.

Fair-use, non-lede quote:

Federal laws prohibit private parties from buying automatic weapons, but allows law enforcement agencies to have them.

This claim is absolutely and unquestioningly false.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) imposed a tax on machine guns, but did not make them illegal to own by private citizens or companies. While extremely expensive, one can legally purchase machine guns from a wide variety of vendors.

Due to a Clinton-era restriction, machine guns manufactured after 1986 are not available for private sale, but this has had the side effect of making these machine guns an investment, and they are being marketed that way.

The media's ignorance of the subjects they write about never fails to amaze me.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 27, 2008 10:35 AM

Actually that MG manufacturing ban was under Reagan as part of the compromise to get the Firearms Owners Protection Act passed. The hope was that it would be undone under a future Republican Congress. It hasn't happen, at least not yet.

Posted by: Dave Brown at June 27, 2008 12:17 PM

I think you meant that machine guns manufactured before 1986 are investments, since they're transferable.

Posted by: Matt at June 27, 2008 02:26 PM

“I hate them, I do hate them.”- Col. Kurtz

I was yelling at the TV a lot on Thursday.

CNN Lou Dobbs had a “legal expert” who said US v Miller was 170 years ago.

As to the MG ban remember MG were registered then the registry was closed. Also in DC handgun had to registered then the registry was closed. England and Australia had registration laws which led to bans.

The Brady bunch’s view of Heller is that registration is allowed and they will start to push on all fronts.
2A supporters need to be able to articulate that the only thing that registration will accomplish is the confiscation and banning of firearms.

Posted by: Mad Saint Jack at June 28, 2008 03:24 PM

The media get well over 50% of the stories involving firearms law wrong.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at June 29, 2008 07:42 AM

You mean that all those layers of fact checkers, editors, gimlet eyed and driven by their desire to print the facts, actually made a mistake in a story. I'm shocked.

Posted by: glenn at June 29, 2008 12:47 PM

The recent Heller decision talks about the M-16. If you haven't you should read it, search on M-16. The fact that the Second Amendment is an enumerated right makes encumbering it more difficult. Going to be lots of interesting suits in the future.

Who thinks the drive by media gets the gun stories wrong by accident? Who thinks they get them wrong to push and agenda? Thought so ... The AP is the worst of the worst as far as preaching the Democrat Marxist line.

Posted by: bill-tb at June 29, 2008 07:07 PM