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Semi Automatic Rifle Import Ban Signed (1989)

July 7

Semi Automatic Rifle Import Ban signed into Law

  • Wed March 15, 1989 –┬áspring suspension
  • July 7, 1989 – Signed into law
  • Bush Administration
  • banned imports of semiautomatic assault rifles indefinitely
  • announced by William J. Bennett, the director of national drug policy
  • requests from importers to bring in the rifles had nearly tripled those for all of 1988
  • Law enforcement officers have complained they are often outgunned by drug-traffickers and other criminals who carry high-powered weapons that fire many rounds without needing reloading.
  • Doctors and nurses in major cities have reported sharp increases in the numbers of deaths and serious wounds from such weapons
  • firearms dealers attributed the sharp jump in import-permit applications to a fear by the gun-owning public that purchase of the weapons soon would be prohibited
  • Stephen E. Higgins, the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, estimated that half the owners of assault rifles are collectors.

Bush Administration today banned imports of semiautomatic assault rifles indefinitely, pending a review of whether the military-style weapons are being used for sporting purposes.

The step, announced by William J. Bennett, the director of national drug policy, is effective immediately and was taken after officials learned that requests this year from importers to bring in the weapons had already nearly tripled those for all of 1988.

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July 7
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