Semi Automatic Rifle Import Ban (1989)

 

  • Wed March 15, 1989 –┬áspring suspension
  • July 7, 1989 – Signed into law
  • Bush Administration
  • banned imports of semiautomatic assault rifles indefinitely
  • announced by William J. Bennett, the director of national drug policy
  • requests from importers to bring in the rifles had nearly tripled those for all of 1988
  • Law enforcement officers have complained they are often outgunned by drug-traffickers and other criminals who carry high-powered weapons that fire many rounds without needing reloading.
  • Doctors and nurses in major cities have reported sharp increases in the numbers of deaths and serious wounds from such weapons
  • firearms dealers attributed the sharp jump in import-permit applications to a fear by the gun-owning public that purchase of the weapons soon would be prohibited
  • Stephen E. Higgins, the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, estimated that half the owners of assault rifles are collectors.
  • The permanent ban affected all 43 of the 50 models included in the spring suspension

 

B

Imports cited by Bennett

  • 1988 = 113,732
  • 1987 = 40,000
  • 1986 = 4,000
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