Assault Rifles

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A possible state ban on the AR-15 assault rifle has gun shop owners bracing for a boost in sales. Just before the Clinton Administration banned some semi-automatic weapons in 1994, Jim Snyder says he sold nearly 40-percent more of them.

"Naturally there will be more people willing to buy," he says.

He expects the same response if the Legislature halts sales of the weapon. Some politicians have been trying for years. That's because it looks very similar to the now banned military M16's, which are fully automatic. Some say the M16 is especially dangerous since it fires multiple bullets at once. But Snyder says looks aren't enough to keep it from target shooters and avid hunters who are after pests like prairie dogs.

"The look-a-like assault rifle type so called guns it's a waste of time and money they could be using it for something else," Snyder says.

Senator Dave Syverson says he doubts a vote will ever take place, since most crimes are committed with illegal handguns, not assault rifles. And communities with more strict gun laws suffer with higher crime rates.

The State Legislature just passed a law that limits the amount of bullets allowed in a gun clip. Ten are permitted, when most guns have magazine racks filled with 13 to 15. The bill now waits for the Governor's signature.

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