SKS Assault Rifle Reported
as Weapon Used in Ambush Attack on Police in Ceres, CA, Leaving One Officer
Dead And One Critically Wounded
SKS Assault Rifles
Claimed Lives of at Least Six Police Officers in 2004
President Can Ban
Import of All Foreign-Made Assault Rifles Such as SKSs and AK-47s
assault rifles like the one reported by police to have been used in an
ambush shooting on Sunday, January 9, to murder one police officer and
critically wound another in Ceres, CA, are a primary threat to law enforcement,
the Violence Policy Center (VPC) reported today. In 2004 at least six
law enforcement officers were slain by SKSs. In the wake of the shooting,
the VPC called on President George W. Bush to use the Administration's
executive authority over firearm imports to ban the import of all foreign-made
assault rifles. Such an action would not require Congressional approval.
The Bush Administration has specifically authorized the importation
of SKS assault rifles made in Albania and the former Yugoslavia.
A 2002 Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) report labeled the SKS "the rifle
model most frequently encountered by law enforcement officers" and stated
that "these high capacity rifles pose an enhanced threat to law enforcement,
in part because of their ability to expel projectiles at velocities that
are capable of penetrating the type of soft body armor typically worn
by the law enforcement officers."
VPC Legislative Director
Kristen Rand states, "This horrifying incident illustrates why the SKS
is a leading cop-killing rifle in America today. Although California's
tough state assault weapons ban outlaws the SKS, these inexpensive assault
rifles are readily available across the United States."
Rand pointed out that
the SKS assault rifle was not covered by the 1994 federal assault weapons
ban, which expired in September 2004. The VPC criticized the 1994 law
as inadequate and favors enactment of a tougher version of the law that
would ban the SKS and many other assault weapons that easily slipped through
the old law's loopholes.
"Even though the 1994
law was easily circumvented by the gun industry, Congress failed to move
on a strong replacement law. President Bush could, with the stroke of
a pen, tighten the import ban and stop the import of all foreign-made
assault rifles�including the SKS," Rand added.
For more information
on the SKS assault rifle and the use of it and other assault weapons against
law enforcement personnel, please visit http://www.vpc.org.
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.