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Commonly Touted Policies Are Ill-Suited to Stopping Mass Shooters

Added 05-25-22 01:21:02am EST - “"In New York," former Gov. Andrew Cuomo bragged on Sunday, "we passed the best [gun control] laws in the nation."...” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Commonly Touted Policies Are Ill-Suited to Stopping Mass Shooters”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

"In New York," former Gov. Andrew Cuomo bragged on Sunday, "we passed the best [gun control] laws in the nation." Although those laws manifestly did not prevent the mass shooting that killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on May 14, Cuomo thinks the answer is more legislation of the same sort.

Cuomo mentioned a federal "assault weapon" ban, and other politicians responded to the Buffalo massacre by calling for expanded background checks and more aggressive enforcement of "red flag" laws that aim to disarm dangerous people. But those policies are fundamentally ill-suited to stopping crimes like the Buffalo shooting or Tuesday's deadly attack at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

The Buffalo shooter legally bought the Bushmaster XM-15 rifle he used in the attack from a gun dealer in Endicott, New York. According to the online manifesto that police attributed to the attacker, the rifle did not qualify as an "assault weapon" in New York at that point, because it had been fitted with a fixed magazine.

The shooter easily reversed that modification so the gun could accept detachable magazines, and he reportedly used magazines that exceeded New York's 10-round limit. Although that change had practical implications, other workarounds allow New Yorkers to legally buy and own AR-15-style rifles like the Bushmaster XM-15 that are functionally identical to prohibited models.

As long as a rifle has none of the military-style features that New York prohibits (such as a pistol grip, a threaded barrel, or a bayonet mount), it is not an "assault weapon," even if it accepts detachable magazines. Such "featureless" rifles are perfectly legal in New York, even though they fire the same ammunition at the same rate with the same muzzle velocity as the banned models.

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