Volume 74, Number 17 | August 25 - 31 , 2004

Representative Carolyn Maloney, right, inspected a 50-caliber sniper rifle, with experts Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Center, center, and Andy Pelosi of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

Taking aim at sniper rifles

Representative Carolyn Maloney, chairperson of the Task Force on Homeland Security for the House Democratic Caucus, last week urged a crackdown on access in United States markets to the 50-caliber, armor-piercing sniper rifle. The Al Qaeda terrorist organization has 25 of the rifles, Maloney said. Joined by gun-control advocates, Maloney revealed how easy access to the weapon in the U.S. threatens the nation’s civil aviation system, as well as chemical and refinery plants and communities around those plants.

Said Maloney, “This is an obvious weapon of mass destruction in the hands of a terrorist, but under current federal law it is easier to purchase than a basic handgun.”

She called for Congressional passage of House Resolution 4292, of which she is a co-sponsor, to ban the sniper rifles and regulate the weapons in the same manner as machine guns.

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