AK-47s Flooding US Cities

Gun dealers skirt import ban, as assaults with semiautomatics skyrocket
By Paul Stinson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 17, 2008 3:03 PM CDT
A user's manual for the Mak-90 semiautomatic rifle is shown here. The gun is a variation of the Russian AK-47 designed to circumvent federal regulations on the import of assault weapons.   (Flickr © scottzcamaro)
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(Newser) – At least one of America’s borders is wide open: Gun manufacturers are selling imported semiautomatic weapons with ease ever since the Bush administration allowed 1994's assault weapons ban to lapse, writes Bruce Falconer for Mother Jones. “We’re being flooded with these AK-47s,” said Miami’s police chief, who has seen semiautomatic usage account for 20% of his city’s homicides.

With some assault weapons priced lower than a handgun, skirting the rules has become automatic and easy for manufacturers: By bringing in foreign parts and combining them with American-made materials prohibited by import laws, assault rifles such as the Chinese MAK-90s technically qualify as American-made. The only thing preventing Falconer from his semiautomatic purchase? His DC driver’s license. One dealer offered a solution: Move to Virginia.