Let's hope it doesn't take more carnage at a high school or on our streets to get state and local officials to do the right thing and permanently ban the sale of junk guns
and assault weapons in California.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms study makes clear that junk guns are the preferred weapons of juvenile criminals.
The information collected by the bureau shows that junk guns are used in eight of every 10 cases when criminals 17 and younger use firearms.
Interestingly, the study shows that the youngest criminals tend to favor the smallest, lightest and cheapest junk guns, such as the ultra-compact Raven .
Among criminals 18 through 24, junk guns are still favored, although higher-powered semiautomatic pistols begin to gain popularity.
The youngest criminals choose the smallest, lowest caliber, least expensive junk guns - most of which are manufactured in Southern California.
Moreover, the statistics supporting the junk-gun ban constitute solid evidence that (1) these concealable handguns are disproportionately used in crime; (2) junk guns are easily defined by their lack of safety features and the poor quality of materials used in their manufacture; and (3) junk guns are not appropriate for lawful uses such as hunting, target shooting or legitimate self-defense situations.
Ironically, in 1968 The American Rifleman, an official National Rifle Association publication, printed an editorial calling for an end to the importation of concealable junk guns due to their inferior quality and use in crime.
Newly released data from the ATF shows that in 1996, the three firearms most frequently traced at crime scenes were junk guns made in the United States (foreign-made junk guns were banned from importation in 1968).
The logic behind the local junk gun bans rest on the notion that the usefulness of these weapons is outweighed by their dangers to consumers and to society.
The irony is that no self-respecting sports shooter would consider owning, or having one of his family own, such a junk gun
, nor would any member of the Legislature personally want such a gun.