Alleged Fort Dix Terrorists
Reportedly Trained With Yugoslavian SKS Assault Rifle Model Specifically
Approved for Import by Bush Administration
Also Trained with Next-Generation Assault Rifle, the Beretta Storm
foreign-made SKS assault rifle specifically approved for import by the
Bush Administration was one of the weapons the U.S. government alleges
that six men plotting an assault on Fort Dix trained with in the Poconos
according to the criminal complaint filed in a federal district court
in New Jersey. In addition to the Yugoslavian SKS, the alleged terrorists
also trained with a Beretta Storm assault rifle.
Although the federal
assault weapons ban has expired, the Bush Administration has the executive
authority to ban the import of foreign-made assault weapons like the SKS
and Storm. Such an action would not require Congressional approval. Both
President Bill Clinton and President George Herbert Walker Bush used their
executive powers to stop the import of specific assault rifles. In contrast,
the Administration of George W. Bush 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,
"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, "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 and Beretta Storm. How many near misses and tragedies will it
take before the Administration takes action?"
The ease with which
military-style firearms and firearms training can be obtained in the United
States has been touted in terrorist training manuals, including "How Can
I Train Myself for Jihad," which states, "...obtain an assault rifle legally,
preferably AK-47 or variations, learn how to use it properly and go and
practice in the areas allowed for such training."
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, May 8, 2007
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x109