Just because a rifle has stamped metal parts, a black finish with a black plastic stock and forearm, and large-capacity magazine, that doesn’t make it an assault rifle.

The original assault rifle was the machinepistole MP-44 known as the “strum-gewehr” from WW II Germany. This rifle had the ability to be fired as a machine gun (full auto) or as a single shot per trigger pull (semi-auto) rifle, depending on where a selector switch was positioned.

Russia followed with the AK-47 in semi or full auto fire. Today’s military assault rifles can be used on full auto, semi-auto or three-round bursts.

Needless to say, these firearms are not available to the public at large, although under certain conditions, licensing and the ability to afford to purchase and “feed” one, a U.S. citizen can legally own a machine gun in this country.

Maine’s hunting laws prohibit using a semi-auto rifle with a magazine that holds more than five cartridges. Large-capacity magazines must be permanently altered to contain no more than five cartridges. With one cartridge allowed in the firing chamber, a total of six rounds may be loaded into a semi-auto hunting firearm.

Banning large-capacity clip-type magazines was proven not to make any difference in preventing any horrific events, as many magazines can be carried and changed out in an instant.

Enforcement of existing laws with certainty has more effect than any banning of equipment.

Firearm safety courses provide knowledge and attitude and the respect for firearms being tools and not toys and with the understanding that, as with any tool used improperly, it can cause serious injury or worse. When used properly, however, it can provide good times and memories.

Don Perrine

Winslow

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