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Authorities seeing increase in use of assault weapons

Posted August 27, 2008

Authorities say they are finding more and more military-style assault rifles at crime scenes, and they say there's nothing they can really do to prevent the weapons from getting into the wrong hands.

These style of guns, frequently referred to as AK-style weapons after the Soviet assault rifle favored all over the world, were involved in two separate investigations this past weekend.

Raleigh police say Antonio Bryant attempted to rob the Applebee's on Hillsborough Street using an assault rifle. And Franklin County sheriff's deputies say a 12-year-old boy accidentally shot his 11-year-old neighbor with his father's semi-automatic rifle.

"I've been in this business 25 years, and it's just getting worse," Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green said.

One reason for the increase, he says, is because of the intimidating nature of the weapons.

"(It's) a dangerous-looking gun, an attention-grabber type gun," he said.

Detective Al Langley, who spent nearly 10 years as a firearms analyst for the State Bureau of Investigation-, says price is another factor.

Assault rifles produced abroad are cheaper than those made domestically, gun dealer Barry Perry says. Some foreign-made weapons sell for as little as $250 while their American-made counterparts can cost four times as much.

Perry says a lot of customers who buy guns from him are also collectors that have a specific interest in guns.

There are no assault-weapon laws in North Carolina. A federal assault weapons ban that prohibited the sell of certain semi-automatic assault weapons to civilians expired nearly four years ago.

35 Comments

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  • stercraz Aug 28, 3:35 p.m.

    I do no understand your comment, Admiral...specifically, I am unable to tell which side of the issue you are on, or what your intended point is actually...can you elaborate?

  • TheAdmiral Aug 28, 1:16 p.m.

    "the manner of use is entirely up to the INDIVIDUAL...the weapon is an inanimate object, it has no mind, it CANNOT DO ANYTHING without the aid of an individual, be it good or bad."

    Yeah - those kind of people also believe that if they are at an intersection at a stop sign that everyone else has to stop to let them in and wonder why they wind up in the hospital in traction blaming everyone else for their problem.

  • stercraz Aug 28, 12:08 p.m.

    Bad Beau Minnick, bad...do you actually believe that the weapons are the problem? The weapon, regardless of the type, is a tool, it can be used for GOOD and EVIL, the manner of use is entirely up to the INDIVIDUAL...the weapon is an inanimate object, it has no mind, it CANNOT DO ANYTHING without the aid of an individual, be it good or bad. In addition, you are aiding the spread of the hype, not all weapons that are utilized by the criminal element are AK-47's, that is a term of endearment used by left-wing media types to extend their agenda.

    I'd like to (and may) ask Barry Perry where the $250 AK's are located, because the streets in front of my house are certainly NOT flooded (as Nancy Pelosi asserted they would be) with them.

    Bad people exist, why don't you report on that? They always have and always will. Some would say that a device as innocuous as a box cutter is incapable of causing harm, it is unfair to blame the object, and un-PC to blame the person...guess which is RIGHT?

  • fletchermse Aug 28, 10:48 a.m.

    "A 30-30 lever action deer rifle slug has more punch than the incorrectly identified "assault rifles" in this poorly written piece. "

    +1. The people that call these rifles "high powered" would be flabbergasted to learn that the typical hunting rifle rounds have 30-200% more energy than 7.62x39.

  • homebrewer Aug 28, 10:12 a.m.

    "First, I want to know where to get a $250 (presumably) AK-47 the person in the article mentions. "

    Its a WASR-10. Last gun show at the fair grounds they were about $300. It is a semi-automatic gun and honestly its not that accurate

  • Slip Kid Aug 28, 9:26 a.m.

    They are only assualt weapons if you assualt a person with them. Otherwise, they are a tool or collectable to be used by (mostly) law abiding citizens. This type of story is just to keep the issue simmering until the democrats (possibly) win the whitehouse, then they'll begin pushing to increase gun control laws.

  • houndsforme Aug 28, 9:24 a.m.

    Wow! I expected to see a bunch of liberal anti-gun comments here and low and behold I see a bunch of well thought out comments showing that a lot of you understand the real issue.

    This article as others have stated is nothing more than a typical anti-gun liberal position from WRAL. And of course that makes the article inaccurate.

    Keep up the good work commenters!

  • Tax Man Aug 28, 9:07 a.m.

    These weapons are actually "knock offs" or imitations of the assault guns. They look like the military weapons but they function just like an ordinary long gun. They are not automatic weapons (which are banned without a special license). They shoot no differently than your ordinary hunting rifle - except they are much cheaper and inferior in quality and accuracy.

    The problem is not the weapons - it is the criminals using them. Our laws are already very strict as to who can own or possess any weapon and the people who use guns for violence usually possess them illegally in the first place. To fix this we must increase the punishment actually given to these criminals - in other words, lock them up for a very long time, and when the do get out put them on supervised probation for a very long time with weekly spot checks and searches of their homes and cars to insure they do not have any more weapons. We must make it very difficult on the criminal and very easy on the honest citizen.

  • Viewer Aug 28, 9:05 a.m.

    They are just rifles. A 30-30 lever action deer rifle slug has more punch than the incorrectly identified "assault rifles" in this poorly written piece. Real Assault rifles are fully automatic "machine guns" and only the police and military can normally purchase them; civilians who buy them must pay a heavy tax and undergo an extensive background check.

    I'm not suggesting that the police be relieved of their machine guns to reduce available supply for criminals since I don't think real assault rifles are the problem, but that the news media employ writers who know about what they are writing or do a little research before turning on the keyboard.

  • dwf1205 Aug 28, 9:03 a.m.

    First, I want to know where to get a $250 (presumably) AK-47 the person in the article mentions. The prices on those things have gone way up, and if I could find one for $250 I'd be adding another AK to my collection! :D

    Seriously though, this is the second time (as I recall) in the past 6 months that the WRAL website has run a story that pretty much says, "hey we think there are too many 'military-style' rifles in NC" - liberal agenda? And as for those who'd say "Obama would take our guns," I would remind everyone that McCain supported the so-called Assault Weapons ban. Besides, even if Obama would move to take guns, isn't that exactly the situation where the 2nd amendment would swing into effect?

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