What Is The Difference Between A semiautomatic firearm And A Fully-AUTOMATIC firearm?
A recent article in the gun blog of a California gun owner asked the question; “Is it true that fully-automatic firearms are banned in several states?” After reviewing three sets of state gun control laws it was found that all but two had been declared null and void by recent court rulings. In the California case the three-judge panel found that the gun industry had misled the California State Legislature into enacting bills that the industry considered to be harmless, and yet in reality the bills put all semi-automatics on a list that included machine guns and saw rifles and was designed to make it harder for gun owners to get a concealed carry permit.
The third false statement which was found to be factual was; “lawmakers never intended for handguns to be classified as fully-automatic firearms.” In an article in the November/December issue of the Journal of Criminal Justice the panel did not mention the fact that the majority of handgun deaths in the country involve rifles and shotguns, which are not fully-automatics. The fact is that in handgun fatalities more than two-thirds of the victims were shot through the back of the head, which is the type of injury which would typically render a weapon permanently inoperable. Only one out of seven victims died from shots fired from the front, which is also known rifles. Also, only three of the eight victims died from shots which traveled straight up and down the barrel of the firearm.
So the question which is true about fully-automatic firearms is this; are modern firearms available to law abiding citizens so that they are able to use them in defense or protect themselves and others from danger? Sadly the answer is no, because the other two pieces of legislation which the three-judge panel invalidated did not take into consideration the right to keep firearms in the home. These bills were passed in 1998, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment offered an individual the right to own firearms whether they had a license to do so or not. However, these decisions left the door wide open for criminals to obtain weapons that fall short of the requirements for a valid license.
Because the second amendment was considered part of the constitution and part of the second-amendment of the Constitution which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, any law which violates the second amendment is deemed unenforceable by the Supreme Court. Therefore, according to what the Supreme Court has ruled, any law that infringes on an individual’s right to keep and bear arms is considered void by the United States government. However, these decisions left the door wide open for firearm owners to obtain a license which would enable them to keep any firearm which they deemed to be a handgun. This would allow the individual to legally own a firearm without having to undergo a background check, fingerprinting, and undergoing a firearms training course as required by the National Firearms Association.
Although the second amendment only guarantees an individual the right to own a firearm if they have a license to do so, this does not mean that they will not be able to own a firearm in the future. If the Second Amendment was designed to prevent any type of infringement upon an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, then the government cannot infringe upon your right to own fully-automatic firearms until you are legally licensed to do so. Therefore, there is no need to worry about what the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled regarding fully-automatic firearms.
The only time the government has to step in and make a decision is when a person commits a crime involving a firearm which goes against the law. If the government feels that a person needs protection from the possibility of injury or death from injury, they will have to investigate to determine the facts surrounding the incident. For instance, if a person is found to be in violation of the law by the investigating officer, the violating party may be arrested. On some other occasions, the government will simply decide not to enforce a firearm regulation due to political pressure. The government will only react to situations where the potential for infringement on individual rights is real.