Back in July, a Congressman proposed an amendment to the Cyber Security Act that would ban high capacity magazines. I made this argument based on the negative effects the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 commonly referred to as the Assault Weapons Ban or AWB had on the US military. Rarely do legislators consider the second and third order affects of laws and only later, like ripples in a pond do these implications manifest themselves. Now, we can look at the AWB and its affects not only on crime but also on national defense. Please review this article but remember that it was published in July and there is currently no proposed legislation in debate.
From 1994 until 2004 the American firearms industry suffered under a form of prohibition. The “Assault Weapons Ban” not only covered weapon features but also magazines over 10 rounds. This legislation did nothing to alter crime and, once lifted did not result in any increased gun violence. Overall, it was useless legislation.
These very magazines and weapon features that were banned under the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994” have been crucial to the US Department of Defense’s and our Allies small modernization as part of operations in Iraq as well as globally against piracy, terror and general mayhem. During the 10-year period of the AWB, US businesses curtailed small arms innovation. The point of a business is to make money. When there is little market for a product (as was the case during the AWB), the business case is not there to service it. This was most definitely the situation with magazines for the M9 Beretta Handgun. Many who served early in the war will remember poorly produced high capacity magazines for that weapon. This is because there was no competition in the marketplace due to a lack of market. Rather, government contractors for that magazine were able to produce products that performed poorly on the battlefield. There was no competition. There was no innovation.
Since the ban was lifted, an entire industry has grown and flourished, producing innovative solutions for both law abiding citizens and our military alike. American troops are the best equipped in the world and other countries look to us for technical innovation in small arms.
On the heels of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, opportunistic members of Congress have attached an amendment to (S.A. 2575) to the “Cybersecurity Act” (S. 3414) that would once again restrict these magazines that are critical to our military.
Contact your Congressional representation (switchboard 202-225-3121) and let them know how you feel about this proposed legislation and the hijacking of the Cybersecurity Act by opportunists. A strong American firearms industry contributes directly to our National Defense.