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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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September 13, 2004

Re: What are assault weapons

A reader responds to my "What are assault weapons" blog:

What many people who oppose these weapons (or for that manner, ANY firearm) don't understand is it's the ACTION that makes the weapon, not the cosmetics. These guns function exactly as semiautomatics always have, both before and after the ban. The issue about magazines is another matter. There is no difference between two 15-round magazines and three 10-round magazines. You still have 30 rounds to fire, and practiced pistoleros can reload in less than a second.

As far as background checks go, there is no firearm made I can't wait seven days to receive. Here in Washington state, depending on the type of concealed
weapons permit you have, the waiting period is waived. The rationale being you've already had a background check by registering with the state for your CCW.

If changes in the sale and distribution of firearms are to make a difference in society, I have one suggestion. Make the transfer of firearms the same as
transferring a vehicle. I can't sell a car or transfer the title privately without going through the state. When I buy a gun, I need to fill out paperwork and I
am recorded as the owner of that gun. Because I take gun ownership seriously, whenever I sell a gun I consign it at a gun dealer, and the individual purchasing it from that dealer has to fill out the same paperwork I did to buy the gun in the first place.

Laws along those lines would make the transfer of firearms safer because a background check would result from the sale. If the person buying the gun has
a criminal record, the sale would be voided. I figure the consignment fee is just part of making sure the gun does not fall into the wrong hands.

Smells like registration? Not really. Every time I buy a gun, paperwork and a background check results. The state knows I have a weapons permit, so what's the difference? The only ones squawking would be the N.R.A., which needs to spend less time sending me requests for money trying to win back my membership. Advocating laws such as this would persuade me to join again.
Written by a STop blog reader

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Posted by Bruce Ramsey at September 13, 2004 06:03 PM



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