News & Politics

ATF Says Weapons Used in San Bernardino Shooting Were Illegal in California

Police crime photos are displayed during a press conference near the site of a mass shooting on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 in San Bernardino, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

More information about the San Bernardino massacre is trickling out as federal officials investigate details surrounding the attack on a county employee Christmas party.  Many people, including myself, were curious about the firearms used since California has notoriously strict gun regulations. Reports of “automatic weapons” and even “semi-automatic assault-style weapons” seemed to be disconnected from California’s almost uniform prohibition on such firearms.

Another reason the guns in question are important is that the left and its media handmaidens swiftly mobilized to beat the gun control drum…even before the shooters were permanently put out of business.

The media proudly reports that the firearms were purchased legally. They are trying to create the narrative that the current gun laws allowed this to happen. They want you to know: “Hey, this was all legally done. We need more laws to stop this from happening again.”

But not so fast.  It may be true that these guns were purchased legally, but they were not used legally and in fact, they were modified in violation of the California firearms laws, says the ATF.

While they were originally sold legally, with magazine locking devices commonly known as bullet buttons, the rifles were subsequently altered in different ways to make them more powerful, according to Meredith Davis, a special agent with the ATF.

The Smith & Wesson rifle was changed in an attempt to enable it fire in fully automatic mode, while the DPMS weapon was modified to use a large-capacity magazine, she said.

Those alterations made the weapons unlawful under California’s ban on assault weapons, which bans guns with magazines that can detach for quick reloading.

The state legally allows the sale and ownership of assault weapons that have fixed magazines.

EDITED TO ADD: Modifying a gun for fully automatic fire is illegal in every state, it’s a federal law. A VERY SERIOUS federal law.

While we hear more grandstanding about the need for more gun control, keep in mind all the current laws that were broken to execute this violent massacre:

  • The shooters used weapons they did not purchase (sounds like a straw purchase or illegal transfer).
  • The shooters modified guns to accept high-capacity magazines.
  • The shooters modified guns for automatic fire.

Can anyone think of a law we could put in place that these homicidal maniacs, or any criminal or homicidal maniac, would follow? I can’t.

And because the media is so stupid about guns, they don’t know that the firearm laws pertain not just to purchases but also to the way a gun is used. That is an inconvenient pill to swallow for the gun grabbers because if they consider the way firearms are used, the focus turns to the person using the gun and not the gun itself. Their propaganda is designed to demonize the gun, not to look at the people who are misusing firearms. They don’t want you to ask questions like “What’s going on in the inner cities of Chicago?” Instead they want you to say “Look what guns are doing to the inner cities of Chicago!”

We live in an era where no one wants to be held responsible for anything so its much easier to vilify an inanimate object. Be on alert: every time you read how these guns were legally purchased, the media is trying to put one over on you.