Sunday, March 20, 2005

Shotgun Flamethrowers Oh Boy!

Here's a quick quiz...

Which of the following types of ammunition are illegal in every state in the U.S. (the answers are below the cut):

A) Armor Piercing
B) Incendiary
C) Flamethrower shotgun shells
D) None of the above

Trick question...all of them are legal in most states.

A) Armor Piercing - The technical definition of Armor Piercing is :

18 USC Section 921(a)(17)(B), the term “armor piercing ammunition” means:

1. A projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

2. A full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

However I think the definition should be anything that can penetrate the average police issue bullet proof vest. That said, I guess most rifle and many shot gun ammunition just inherently penetrates bullet proof vests and we shouldn't outlaw all of these bullets because that would unfairly affect hunters and sport shooters.

BUT, I think that any ammunition made for the purpose of penetrating body armor should NOT be sold to civilians. EVER. For example these .50 cal military surplus bullets.

B) Incendiary - These bullets are designed to start fires. A quick Google search turned up:

This site and this auction site which boasts this ammo was tested by police in Florida and "one round shot through the windshield to the interior of a car ignited the car on fire and burnt it to the ground". Is there any reason at all for civilians to own this!?

C) Flamethrower shotgun shells (down at the middle of the page) apparently can't be shipped to California, Florida, Iowa or New York City addresses; what a relief....NOT!

Now I think that people should be allowed to own guns for hunting/sports and self defense. But these ammunitions have two purposes - playing around and criminal. The playing around purpose doesn't override the possible criminal uses. These type of bullets should be banned

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