New York Lawmakers propose 'assault-weapon ammo' bill

February 6, 2020


Matthew Hoy

New York lawmakers have proposed a bill that would limit the amount of "assault weapon ammunition" that can be purchased in a given time period.

The sale of ammunition for assault weapons, as defined by subdivision twenty-two of section 265.00 of this title, shall be limited to two times the capacity of an authorized weapon over a one hundred twenty day period…Notwithstanding any law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the violation of this subdivision shall constitute a class E felony.

Only when it comes to gun laws do legislators seem to take excessive pride in their absolute ignorance of the subject they are legislating on. In this case, specifically the existence of something called "assault weapon ammuntion."

This is not something that exists.

This is an "assault weapon." It can use .223 or 5.56 ammunition. When viewed side-by-side, those bullets appear identical. The only difference is in the amount of of powder in the cartridge. From a lethality standpoint, for legislators concerned about spree or mass-shooters, there is zero difference between the two rounds.

assault weapon ammunition

This is a bolt-action rifle with a 5-round detachable box magazine. It fires .223 ammunition. The proposed New York law specifically exempts ammunition for this rifle from the purchase limitation. There are plenty of other bolt-action rifles that can also handle the 5.56 variety of this ammunition.


assault weapon ammunition

While the rifles are very different, the ammunition they use is exactly the same. That goes for every other exotic caliber that so-called "assault weapons" can be chambered in, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, .338 Lapua, .300 BLK, and others.

The law, as written, betrays a complete ignorance of firearms by the authors. If passed, the law would either be completely ineffectual since sellers would just assume the ammunition would be used in a non-assault weapon; or, quickly struck down by a judge with even two brain cells to rub together.

And, speaking of ignorance about firearms and ammunition…

Media Fact-Checkers Don't Understand Guns Either

A fact-check on the proposed law by the Associated Press's Arijeta Lajka betrays the same ignorance of the realities of firearms as the bill's authors.

If passed, ammunition purchases for assault weapons will be limited to two times the weapon’s capacity over a 120 day period, about four months. Ammunition sales for other types of guns are not restricted. “Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prevent, or interfere in any way with, the sale of ammunition for revolvers or pistols of any kind, or for rifles, shot guns, or other arms,” according to the bill.

New York state law has defined an “assault weapon,” as a semiautomatic rifle that has the ability to attach a magazine, among other design characteristics. Most assault weapons were banned in New York in 2013. Democratic Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, a sponsor of the bill, said this bill would only impact people who owned these weapons before 2013.

“A convenient and glaring omission in the gun lobby’s description of my bill is that it only limits ammunition purchases for lethal military-style assault weapons,” Simon said in an email statement to the AP.

Aaron Dorr, a member of the firearms association, said in an email to the AP that the organization would correct the time frame in future posts, noting the legislation “is even worse than our Facebook page indicates.” He did not address the issue of the law applying only to assault weapons.

Again, there is no such thing as "assault weapon ammunition." Assemblywoman Simon cannot go into a gun store and identify any particular box, brand, or line of ammunition that is strictly used by "assault weapons" and not by a variety of other rifles, or even handguns.

The sorry fact that the Associated Press and its reporters and editors do not know even these basics of firearms does not speak well of any of its other coverage of gun control or firearms generally.

The American public continues to be ill-served by both its representatives and the media.

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