50 Caliber Anti-Armor Sniper Rifles

Fifty caliber is the largest round of ammunition generally available to American civilians today. Fifty caliber anti-armor sniper rifles are specifically designed to engage and destroy materiel targets on the battlefield at long range. These anti-armor rifles feature a range and striking power that is far beyond that of any hunting rifle, and beyond that of the rifles our infantry carry.

Armored personnel carriers, aircraft, rail tank cars, bulk fuel storage, and concrete bunkers are vulnerable to 50 caliber rifle fire at distances of 1,000 to 2,000 yards. Our soft civilian infrastructure — airports and the jetliners in them, rail cars carrying hazardous materials, and toxic chemical bulk storage plants — is even more open to attack by these rifles than its military counterpart.

In most states, any 18-year-old who can pass a background check can buy a 50 caliber rifle (even though one must be at least 21 years old to buy a handgun at a gun store). In September 2004, California became the first state to ban 50 caliber sniper rifles. The District of Columbia has also banned these weapons.

Clear and Present Danger: National Security Experts Warn About the Danger of Unrestricted Sales of 50 Caliber Anti-Armor Sniper Rifles to Civilians (July 2005)
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The Threat Posed to Helicopters by 50 Caliber Anti-Armor Sniper Rifles (August 2004)
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Really Big Guns, Even Bigger Lies (March 2004)
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“Just Like Bird Hunting”—The Threat to Civil Aviation From 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles (January 2003)
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Sitting Ducks: The Threat to the Chemical and Refinery Industry From 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles (August 2002)
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The U.S. Gun Industry and Others Unknown: Evidence Debunking the Gun Industry’s Claim That Osama Bin Laden Got His 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles From The U.S. Afghan-Aid Program (February 2002)
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Voting From the Rooftops: How the Gun Industry Armed Osama bin Laden, Other Foreign and Domestic Terrorists, and Common Criminals With 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles (October 2001)
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One Shot, One Kill: Civilian Sales of Military Sniper Rifles (May 1999)
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Fact Sheets
Why Regulate 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles?

Criminal Use of the 50 Caliber Sniper Rifle

National Security Experts Agree: 50 Caliber Anti-Armor Sniper Rifles Are Ideal Tools for Terrorists

Gun Industry Trade Association Resorts to Deceit After CBS News 60 Minutes Documents Danger of Fifty Caliber Anti-Armor Rifles

Press Releases
Violence Policy Center Strongly Criticizes Governor Christie’s Veto of Ban on 50 Caliber Sniper Rifles (08/17/2013)

Federal Indictment Confirms Again That the 50 Caliber Anti-Armor Sniper Rifle Is a Weapon of Choice Among Terrorists (02/06/2006)

California Leads Nation in War on Terror — Becomes First State in Nation to Ban 50 Caliber Anti-Armor Sniper Rifles (09/14/2004)