Letters for August 18, 2016

• Criminals, not guns, are the problem 

Criminals, not guns, are the problem

Mr. Lundgren’s letter (TGI, Aug. 14) reflects a naivety typical of those who are anti-gun while having little or no knowledge of guns or the laws already in effect. Aside, of course, what they might glean and parrot about a particular weapon from a quick Google search.

First of all, automatic weapons are strictly prohibited in the state of Hawaii. Semi-automatics are legal. There is a difference contrary to what you might read in the media. In a number of mainland states fully automatic weapons can be owned subject to:

“Being regulated by the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. With the passage of FOPA, the United States Federal Government declared it illegal to make a new fully automatic firearm, convert a semi-automatic firearm to fire in full auto, or to import a fully automatic firearm unless ‘transferred to the U.S. Government (USG) or a law enforcement agency, or to a Federal firearms licensee for use as a USG or law enforcement sales sample.’ (27 CFR 479.105(d)). This means that any full auto firearm manufactured in the US or imported to the US before May 19, 1986 is legal for anyone who is willing to pay a one-time $200 tax stamp (per firearm) and meet certain other criteria to own a full auto or burst fire gun.”

The fact of the matter is that the confiscation of a prohibited gun like the MAC 11 from a criminal illustrates what many of us have been saying for many years. Laws only affect law-abiding individuals — people willing to follow the law. By definition, criminals do not comply with laws. So it should come as no surprise that a felon could be in possession of a MAC 11 on Kauai, or anywhere for that matter.

So the writer’s questions about tracing the ownership of the weapon through the Hawaii registration system are irrelevant and indicative of not understanding the laws here. This MAC 11 was in the possession of a felon and could not ever have been registered in Hawaii. (Only police and military are allowed to own full autos in Hawaii.) It’s obvious that this is a weapon that was stolen and not one purchased legally by the criminal in possession of it.

So don’t fret, Mr. Lundgren, guns like the MAC 10 & 11 are not obtainable on Kauai … except, of course, by criminals. So the takeaway is: get tougher on the criminals, not legal inanimate objects and the lawful citizens that own them.

RS Weir, Kapaa

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