Watch out, America. According to editors at the New York Times, the expiration of the assault weapons ban has led to 18-year-olds running around with .50-caliber sniper rifles that can “pierce concrete bunkers and armored personnel carriers”:
— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) December 11, 2015
From their editorial:
Assault weapons were banned for 10 years until Congress, in bipartisan obeisance to the gun lobby, let the law lapse in 2004. As a result, gun manufacturers have been allowed to sell all manner of war weaponry to civilians, including the super destructive .50-caliber sniper rifle, which an 18-year-old can easily buy in many places even where he or she must be 21 to buy a simpler handgun. Why any civilian would need this weapon, designed to pierce concrete bunkers and armored personnel carriers, is a question that should be put to the gun makers who profit from them and the politicians who shamelessly do their bidding.
Of course, the fact that .50-caliber sniper rifles were never covered by the assault weapons ban escaped the NYT’s fact-checkers:
The New York Times editorial board has absolutely no clue which guns were covered by the 1994 assault weapons ban. https://t.co/cZ9Inqy5KD
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) December 11, 2015
From Sean Davis of The Federalist:
Those icky guns aren’t just destructive, they’re super destructive. There’s just one teeny, tiny problem with that paragraph: bolt-action .50-caliber rifles were never covered by the federal assault weapons ban. There’s no possible way the expiration of the assault weapons ban could have led to the proliferation of a weapon that was never actually banned by the law, but editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal has never been one to let simple facts get in the way of an unhinged screed.
And the rifles are expensive, weigh a ton and according to Davis, have “never” been used in a mass shooting in the U.S.:
— Adam Porter (@aporterwrites) December 11, 2015
— Nathan Baker (@jcpressbaker) February 16, 2015
— Make Her Way (@MakeHerWay) August 18, 2014
You can read the rest of Davis’ take-down of the New York Times here.