Police Seize Semiautomatic Weapons as “Hazard”


Evan Goodenow
The News-Sentinel
ay 13, 2009

They can kill from more than four football fields away, shred police officers’ vests, fire up to 75 bullets at a time – and they’re increasingly showing up in criminals’ hands.

[efoods]Last year, Fort Wayne Police seized 31 semiautomatic rifles, compared with two in 2003, the last year of the federal assault weapons ban that limited the sale of the rifles. The seizure increase and more reports of criminals using the rifles concerns Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York.

“The fact that we have these relatively cheap, assault weapon-type firearms out there, it’s not only a hazard to the public, but in particular to police officers,” said York, who supports renewing the ban. “It’s proof that they continue to get into the hands of irresponsible people.”

Just how many are in the hands of irresponsible people in Fort Wayne is difficult to measure. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not provide gun-seizure information from its Fort Wayne office despite Freedom of Information requests made by The News-Sentinel in June 2008 and last month.

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