Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) and 91 other Democrats sent a letter to Obama this week asking him to go even further with his executive actions and ban the import of “assault weapons.”
Engel wrote the letter, in which he claimed “a mass shooting on average each day this year in this country.” He described Obama’s executive action to expand background checks as “important,” then asked Obama to use the language of the Gun Control Act of 1968 to stop “assault weapons” from entering the country.
In accordance with the Gun Control Act of 1968, we respectfully ask that you also consider tightening significantly the rules that currently allow for the importation into the U.S. of military-style assault weapons.
The Gun Control Act prohibits the importation into the United States of any firearm that is not “generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has already said that this import ban includes “semiautomatic assault rifles” with “military configuration features.”
Engel claimed “nearly one in five weapons seized at crime scenes in Mexico are AK-47 variants trafficked into that country after being imported through the U.S.” He did not say how many of these AK-47 variants were smuggled into Mexico during the ATF/DOJ’s Operation Fast & Furious. Between 2,000 and 2,200 guns in total were smuggled into Mexico during that operation–while the ATF/DOJ looked the other way–and many of those have shown up at crime scenes in Mexico.
Most recently, a .50 caliber Fast & Furious rifle was recovered amid evidence gathered at drug kingpin El Chapo’s hideout.
But Engel and 91 of his fellow Democrats believe the import of “assault weapons” to sold to law-abiding citizens are retail outlets are the problem.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins.