Three men were murdered in Springfield Gardens Saturday morning in a drive-by shooting with an AK-47 assault rifle. At least 63 shots were fired, and questions are still looming over the incident, including why such a serious weapon was on the streets. The submachine gun was developed in Russia to be used as a military weapon. The 11-pound weapon can fire 600 rounds per minute, or 10 rounds per second.
The Assault Weapons Ban, enacted by Bill Clinton during his presidency in 1994, banned automatic and some semiautomatic guns, including AK-47s. The ban expired in 2004 and has not been renewed since then.
“It’s horrific and it’s shameful that our nation allows this kind of slaughter to continue,” said Dennis Henigan, vice president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Henigan said he wants the Assault Weapons Ban to be reinstated and he also wants the Brady Bill, which requires background checks of licensed gun sellers, to be extended to all gun sales.
“Most of the guns wreaking havoc in New York City come from other states,” he said, adding they are mostly Southeastern states. Mayor Bloomberg has repeatedly pressed for greater restrictions on guns sold in other states.
He added that microstamping technology should be used to track down shooters. A microscopic code is embedded in the shell casings so that police can trace a gun without having it in their possession. California is the only state to pass that legislation, but it has not yet been implemented.
Henigan said New York State has been considering the legislation for several years, but it keeps getting stalled in the Senate.
He added that 80 percent of gun owners support extending the Brady Bill and that the National Rifle Association, a strong gun lobby, represents only a small percentage of gun owners.
“Right now, too many politicians are only hearing the intimidating voice of the gun lobby, and the gun lobby does not represent the American population,” he said.