Opponents of “assault weapons” bans have always argued that the bans are based on cosmetic features that don’t make one class of guns more powerful or dangerous than another.
Now, following an “assault weapons” ban tied to the SAFE Act, New Yorkers are proving this theory by making small cosmetic changes to their AR-15s, thereby rendering them legal under the very act meant to take them off the streets.
According to Fox News, even as the SAFE Act bans the sale of “assault rifles,” AR-15s are being sold “in Empire State gun shops… freely and legally.”
The gun is marketed by Stag Arms. It has a “modified stock” with no pistol grip or other “bells and whistles.”
For New York lawmakers, the presence of a pistol grip was one of the central features in determining what was or was not an “assault weapon.” Other cosmetic features lawmakers used in making their determination included a bayonet mount and a flash suppressor.
Take these away, and the same AR-15 with the same firepower as any other AR-15 suddenly becomes a hunting rifle, which isn’t banned.
The Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb said, “This just shows the gun prohibition lobby uses symbolic gestures over substance to push their anti-gun rights agenda. Banning guns based on cosmetic features proves that point.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.