New Jersey moved yesterday toward becoming the second state to outlaw the powerful .50-caliber rifle that critics contend could potentially be used in terrorist attacks.
The guns, which resemble large hunting rifles, are accurate up to 11/2 miles, and opponents contend that they could be used to penetrate an airliner or ignite chemical plants, rail tank cars and refineries.
That's the talking-points line from the bedwetters.
Here are the facts:
Lets go past things that "could potentially be used in terrorist attacks," and actually look at thinks that have been used in terrorist attacks:
and on, and on, and on...
There has never been any sort of documented crime committed in the United States with a .50 BMG rifle.
- ...opponents do contend that .50 BMG rifles could be used to penetrate an airliner, but the simple fact of the matter is that virtually any bullet, from the lowly .22 long rifle to all handgun and rifle cartridges will penetrate the very thin aluminum skill of an airliner.
- .50 BMG bullets carry far more energy than most rifle bullets, but commercially available bullets are not explosive, and military API (armor-piercing incendiary) cartridges do not function well in these precision rifles.
- When asked about the alleged threat of .50cal rifles to his railcars, Mr. Darymple said that they have long tested their cars against almost every form of firearm, to include .50BMG and larger. When asked what happens when a .50 hits one of his tanks he said with a shrug "It bounces off." He went on to point out that railcars are designed to survive the force of derailing, and collision with other railcars at travel speeds. By comparison the impact of a bullet, any bullet, is like a mosquito bite.
- Refineries? Perhaps possible, but nearly any other form of weapon would be far more concealable, far cheaper, and far more effective.
As a side note of interest, the .50BMG typically weighs in at around 25 pounds and is a SINGLE-SHOT rifle, meaning you have to reload every time you pull the trigger.
It just ain't a street weapon.