Saturday, June 01, 2013

AZ:"Assault Rifles" of the May 2013 Turn in Events in Phoenix

One Colt Sporter like this one was turned in; another AR15 type rifle went to a private buyer

At the turn in events this May in Phoenix, a premium was offered for the turn in of "Assault Rifles" or "Assault Weapons". People who turned in those items were to be given double the premium for ordinary firearms, gift cards worth $100 in food.

I asked Steve Martos, the Phoenix PD Sargent who coordinated with reporters, what the definition of an "Assault Rifle" was for the event. Those who gave out the gift cards had to have some definition to determine who was eligable for the extra cards. Sargent Martos came back with the following definition: the firearms had to be semi-automatic, use detachable magazines, and be chambered in .223/5.56 mm or in 7.62x39mm cartridges.

This definition has the merit of being short and easily understood, unlike the federal definition under the old, elapsed "assault weapon ban" that included numbers of features such as flash hiders, pistol grips, and bayonet lugs, and long lists of firearms that were prohibited and those that were not prohibited. It suffered mightily because most of the differences were cosmetic rather than functional.

In the sum of all the turn in events this May, it appears that only one firearm was considered to be an "Assault Rifle". That rifle was a Colt Sporter that I was able to photograph.

The Colt Sporter on top of the pile was turned in for unknown reasons

If you look just to the left of the Colt Sporter, you can see a Philippene made Kassnar .22 semi-automatic AR15 lookalike, with the paint wearing off of the wood. As it was not the correct caliber, it did not make the "Assault Rifle" definition.

I was fortunate enough to be offered an official "Assault Rifle", at least a rifle considered to be such by the State of New Jersey.

This 25+ year old Marlin 99 was purchased new in the box for $100

The Marlin 990 pictured above was a wildly popular hunting rifle, but the State of New Jersey declared it to be an "Assault Rifle" in the middle 1980's, causing Marlin to change the design. They literally "do not make them like this" any more. The tubular magazine was reduce in capacity from 17 cartridges to 14.

There were other rifles in the pile that some states would consider "assault rifles".

Astute readers will recognize the WWII M1 Carbine in the center of the picture, with the stainless Mini-14 just below it.

Both the M1 Carbine and the Mini-14 have been considered assault rifles in some definitions.

This SKS variant (third rifle from the bottom) with the aftermarket bullpup stock, was not an "Assault Rifle"

Not all "Assault Rifles" brought to the turn in were turned in. There were numerous private buyers at the events.

Groups of private buyers having a good time at one of the turn in events

I estimated over a hundred private buyers at the first event, and counted a minimum of 83 at the second one.

At the third event, one private buyer described the sale of an AR-15 that was part of a family argument, and was sold at the turn in for cash. I was told that the the wife and husband had argued, and the wife was angry enough to bring the husband's AR15 to the turn in event. She was willing to accept $400 cash instead of the offered $200 in gift cards.

No one knows what happened when the husband found out that his rifle had been sold.

No one knows how many "Assault Rifles" the Phoenix PD has. An article from the 1990's showed that they wanted 300 at that time, and had just received a donation to purchase 50. They were AR15 variants.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten Permission to share granted as long as this notice is included.

No comments: