Wednesday, March 29, 2023

California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Let us know about the weapons used in the deadly attacks this week.

(CNN) — According to advocacy groups, California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. However, three mass shootings in 44 hours have shaken the state.

At least two of the suspects carried out the attacks with semi-automatic weapons, and at least one of the weapons was illegal in the state.

We spoke with CNN’s “Guns in America” ​​contributors Jennifer Mascia and Stephen Gutowski to learn more about the firearms used in each shooting.

The following question and answers have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Monterey Park: 11 dead, gunman dead

According to authorities, the weapon used in the shooting was either a MAC-10 semi-automatic assault weapon or an M11 Cobra (both have been stated). What does this mean and is that type of weapon legal in California?

JM: First, a word of caution: An original MAC-10—the Military Armament Corporation Model 10—is usually a fully automatic machine gun. This means that multiple bullets are fired for each trigger pull.

Machine guns are heavily regulated by national firearms legislation. The weapon he used was not a machine gun. Variants of the MAC-10 include the Cobray M11/9, which was first reported to be taken from the Invader.

Security footage shows the suspect entering through a door. Courtesy of Brenda Tse

The MAC-10 variants are illegal under California’s assault weapons restrictions for two reasons: they have a threaded barrel, and they are designed to take a 30-round magazine. Any weapon larger than 10 rounds is illegal under California law.

SG: The gun that was taken from him appeared to have been fitted with a suppressor/silencer, meaning it had a threaded barrel which would make its purchase illegal today.

It’s also not legal to buy today because California has banned the sale of handguns without certain features, such as a magazine lock, loaded chamber indicator, or “microstamping” technology (which no gun company currently makes).

Although the age of the suspect in this case is 72 years and his marks Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) indicates that he purchased the gun himself.

We need more information about when the purchase was made. But since the company that made it went bankrupt in the 1990s, it’s possible they bought it legally before California’s “assault weapons” ban went into effect.

Were any modifications made to the weapon? If so, did it make it more dangerous and/or illegal?

SG: CNN reports that police believe the shooter was illegally manufacturing suppressors known as silencers at home. The video in which Brandon Tse disarms it appears to have a silencer attached to the end of the barrel. There is also a complete ban on having a muffler in California. Therefore, it was not legal for him to have it.

Suppressors reduce the sound of the gun. However, they don’t actually make one shot silent. Depending on the caliber and effectiveness of the suppressor, they typically reduce the sound to decibel levels similar to that of a jackhammer. Suppressors work exactly like car mufflers and were invented by the same person (Hiram Percy Maxim).

How could he shoot so many times?

SG: Police report that the attacker used a 30-round charger, the sale of which is banned in California. Given the suspect’s age, he may have bought the Charger before California banned it decades ago.

California passed a forfeiture law in 2016 that prohibited the possession of magazines larger than 10 cartridges. However, a federal judge blocked its application on the grounds that it violates the Constitution, and that case (Duncan v. Becerra) is still in court.

Furthermore, survivors reported that it also reloaded during the attack. Therefore, the size of the magazine did not prevent him from reloading his weapon at least once.

Beyond that, the pistol you use can fire cartridges at basically the same rate as any other semi-automatic firearm (one shot per trigger pull).

The gun had a long barrel at the end, what is it and what is it for?

JM: I think it is a silencer which suppresses the sound of the shot. But law enforcement has not confirmed this. Silencers are governed by the same federal laws that govern machine guns. You must register the device with the federal government in order to legally own it.

Half Moon Bay: 7 dead, attacker in custody

Authorities have said it was a semi-automatic weapon legally registered in the assailant’s name.

How is this pistol different from the semi-automatic used in the Monterey Park shooting and why is it legal and the other is not?

JM: The Monterey Park pistol is not legal in California because it has features banned from state assault weapons: a threaded barrel and designed for 30-round magazines.

The weapon used in the Half Moon Bay shooting was a registered semi-automatic pistol that did not have any of the characteristics listed in California’s assault weapons ban. Most pistols in circulation are semi-automatic, meaning that after firing another round automatically enters the chamber. No need to manually cock it like a revolver.

What does the number of victims say about the type of weapon used?

JM: AR-15s are particularly lethal, leaving few survivors, but most mass shootings are conducted with small arms. The Half Moon Bay shooting was so deadly probably because he took aim at his victims and shot them at close range.

With the Monterey Park shooting, I knew right away that the shooter didn’t use an AR-15 because there were so many survivors. A MAC-10 variant and other “assault pistols” come closer in lethality and functionality to the pistol than the AR-15. They are old, heavy, and not very accurate, so the death toll was more like a small arms attack than a rifle attack.

SG: Unfortunately, when an armed individual attacks a group of unsuspecting and unarmed people, it does not require any advanced weapons or tactics to exact a terrible toll on a community. Mass murders have been committed with all types of weapons, from semi-automatic rifles and pistols to pump-action shotguns, bolt-action rifles, knives or blunt weapons.

Oakland: One Dead and One Shooter Uncovered

So far the police have not found any weapon, only the hollow. Can you figure out the type of weapon using those covers and/or the victim’s wounds?

JM: Shell casings can be searched in NIBIN, the ATF’s ballistics database, to match them to shell casings found in other shootings. But NIBIN does not provide serial numbers of the weapon or series of custody. However, you can link attackers to different jurisdictions and prevent them from firing again.

SG: Police can identify the caliber of the weapon used in the attack from shell casings recovered at the scene or from the victims’ wounds. However, it is more difficult to determine the specific firearm used in an attack from casings or wounds.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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