For Release: Monday, November 22, 2004
President Has Power to Fully Ban Import of All Foreign-Made Assault Rifles Such as SKSs And AK-47s
Washington, DC – SKS assault rifles like the one reported to have been used to murder five hunters and wound three others in Wisconsin over the weekend are a primary threat to police, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) reported today. So far in 2004, at least six law enforcement officers have been slain by SKSs. In the wake of the shooting, the VPC called on President George W. Bush today to use the Administration’s executive authority over firearm imports to fully ban the import of all foreign-made assault rifles. Such an action would not require Congressional approval. The Bush Administration has specifically authorized the importation of SKS assault rifles from both Yugoslavia and Albania.
“Armed hunters were no match for one person firing an SKS assault rifle,” said Kristen Rand, VPC legislative director. “This sad incident illustrates why the SKS is also a leading cop-killing rifle in America today.”
Rand pointed out that the SKS assault rifle was not covered by the recently expired 1994 federal assault weapons ban. The VPC criticized the 1994 law as inadequate and favors enactment of a tougher version of the law that would ban the SKS and many other assault weapons that easily slipped through the old law’s loopholes.
“Even though the 1994 law was easily circumvented by the gun industry, Congress has failed to move on a strong replacement law. President Bush could, with the stroke of a pen, tighten the import ban and stop the import of all foreign-made assault rifles,” Rand said.
She noted that both the President’s father, former-President George H.W. Bush, and former-President William J. Clinton stopped the import of hundreds of thousands of assault weapons by using their executive authority under firearms import and trade laws. Under the current Bush Administration, specific foreign-made assault rifles, including some SKSs, have returned to the marketplace.
For more information on the SKS assault rifle and the use of it and other assault weapons against law enforcement personnel, please visit www.vpc.org.
The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.