Proposed assault weapons ban brings about new debate

Author: , Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published: Jan 16 2013 07:00:00 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 17 2013 06:45:00 PM EST

President Obama's proposed gun measures have sparked fresh debate over what falls in the category of an "assault weapon." The lack of definition is firing up the country.

"A baseball bat could be an assault weapon, a hammer," Don Reider said.

Fully automatic weapons -- guns that fire continuously when the trigger is held down -- similar to military grade weapons, are legal to possess in the United States but are tightly regulated. Many people 69 News spoke with Thursday classified those as assault weapons.

President Obama described assault weapons as guns that "pump out as many bullets as possible, as quickly as possible, to do as much damage, using bullets designed to inflict maximum damage."

A 1994 federal ban, which expired a decade ago, defined it primarily as semi-automatic weapons that possess cosmetic features of fully automatic assault rifles.

"Can switch the stock to fix or folding stock and can change what grip you have on the gun," said David Green, of Firearm Owners Against Crime, a political action committee.

A Colt Model 69 would be banned under the 1994 law because it featured at least two banned criteria, which included having a pistol grip, folding stock, and fixed firing capacity of more than five rounds.

"Very customizable way. It's so popular right now," Green said.

But available for how long? It's the assault weapon question many will continue to fire away at for months to come.

"It's not definable, I can assault you with anything," Reider said.