California Leads Nation
in War on Terror�Becomes First State in Nation to Ban 50 Caliber Anti-Armor
Comes Less Than Three Years After Violence Policy Center First Identified
Threat Posed by These Readily Available Tools of Terror
Schwarzenegger Signs Bill That Bans Rifles That Can Destroy Aircraft,
Down Helicopters, and Penetrate Armor Plating
DC�California yesterday became the first state in the nation to ban 50
caliber sniper rifles. The bill, AB 50, was signed into law by Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger. The threat posed by 50 caliber sniper rifles, and
their purchase in the U.S. by terrorists, was first identified by the
Violence Policy Center (VPC) in its 2001 report 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.
Subsequent VPC studies have exposed the ability of these armor-piecing
rifles�which are accurate over a mile�to attack bulk fuel tanks and other
high-value targets from a distance, as well as their ability to destroy
commercial aircraft. The VPC has also detailed their criminal use in the
Senior Policy Analyst and study author Tom Diaz states, "California has
once again confirmed its status as a bellwether state in preventing gun
violence. Today's action not only protects the police and public, but
stops the sale of a confirmed tool of terrorists. We look forward to other
states, and eventually the U.S. Congress, following its lead." Under federal
law, 50 caliber rifles are as easy to buy as hunting rifles, and less
restricted than handguns.
effort to ban 50 caliber sniper rifles was led by Assemblyman Paul Koretz
and other gun violence prevention leaders in the California Assembly and
Senate, as well as the San Francisco-based Trauma Foundation and the Los
Angeles-based Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles.
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x122