The Chicago Tribunes James Oliphant reports: According to records at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., she also drafted an executive order restricting the importation of certain semiautomatic assault rifles.
When ban was announced, Clinton staffer Jose Cerda stated, We are taking the law and bending it as far as we can to capture a whole new class of guns. [Los Angeles Times, Oct. 22, 1997].
The import ban was made permanent in the spring of 1998. Heres an explanation I wrote, as part of an article on Rahm Emanuel for Americas 1st Freedom, which is a NRA member magazine:
In 1998, Clinton forbade the import of 58 types of firearms and their accessories. . . .
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Emanuel defended the ban on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, repeatedly claiming that the banned guns were military weapons, not sporting weapons.
Those weapons were designed for one purpose military and they dont belong on our streets, he insisted.
Emanuel asserted that Clinton had banned the AK-47, which was pure nonsense. The AK-47, which is a fully automatic rifle, was not covered by the import ban. Indeed, not one of the guns banned was an automatic, nor were any of the guns manufactured primarily for military use.
All the banned guns were used in target competitions. Some had names like Hunter or Sporter. So how did Clinton and Emanuel get around the 1986 federal law requiring that imports must be allowed if the gun is particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes?
Emanuel argued that it was permissible to ban the guns because [a Treasury study found that] comments from hunting guides showed that the guns were rarely recommended for hunting trips. As if the only gun that is a sporting gun is one used by people who can afford to take trips with a professional guide.
May 13, 2010