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1999-05-07

US Military Sniper Rifles for Sale On the Internet

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The Senate yesterday unveiled a package of proposals on gun control issues such as child safety locks on handguns and regulation of guns shows, this in the wake of the Littleton High School shootings in Denver, Colorado, that left 15 people dead and scores more injured.

Meanwhile, a congressional report released this week found that military sniper rifles that were used by the U.S. against Iraqi tanks during the Gulf War are now in the hands of thousands of civilians.

The investigation into the long-range 50-caliber sniper weapons, which are capable of piercing armored vehicles, found that the rifles are readily available through dealers, gun shows and the Internet. Because the weapons are legally classified as rifles, they have few restrictions, and buyers only need to prove that they are 18 years old and don’t have a criminal record. This despite the fact that they have an accurate shooting range of between one and four miles.

Guest:

  • Tom Diaz, Attorney with the Violence Policy Center and author of the book ??Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America. He also wrote a report on the 50-caliber sniper rifle entitled "One Shot, One Kill: Civilian Sales of Military Sniper Rifles." Speaking from Washington, D.C.

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