First Post-Ban Assault Weapons Crime?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

In a desperate attempt to link all post-ban crimes to the expiration of the “Assault Weapons” ban, the Brady Campaign speaks pure rhetoric devoid of logic. From PRNewswire:

One of the nation's first assault weapons crimes since the sunset of the ban on these weapons apparently occurred here late last week, at a Mobil gas station on South Sycamore Street, just sixteen days after Senator Arlen Specter and Congressional leaders helped the gun lobby kill the ban. An employee at the gas station told police the gun the robber brandished was an Uzi with a large capacity ammunition magazine. "The employee said he knew the weapon from seeing it in magazines and elsewhere before," a police detective told the Bucks County Courier Times newspaper. The employee handed over more than $200, and the robber fled.
1. The facts from this case come from unsubstantiated witness testimony; a store employee who identified a specific weapon based on what he had seen previously in magazines. I would hardly call this piece of information expert testimony - however, the Brady Campaign sees this as sufficient evidence to make their baseless conclusions.

2. Even if it was an Uzi - which we can’t be sure of because the police haven’t caught the guy - it’s availability in the hands of the criminal was not affected by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Uzis, both automatic and semiautomatic, have been illegal and remain so today since the enactment of the 1989 import ban.

3. Even if it was a weapon covered by the 1994 ban, this report indicates that the store was robbed because the law expired. Nonsense, considering most robbers use small handguns not covered by the ban and even so criminals with access to illegal weapons don’t much follow the law.

My question: Did the store clerk have a gun of his own? Had he then perhaps that Mobil store would still have its $200.