This is an M-4, a carbine variant of the M-16 rifle. It is a semi-automatic, gas-operated version of the civilian AR-15 in 5.56 mm. U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq used the M-4 carbine extensively. This weapons would be banned for sale to youngsters under 21 by the ‘Protect Our Kids Act,’ passed by the U.S. House on June 8, but not by the bipartisan agreement on gun control under discussion in the U.S. Senate.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — While the U.S. House of Representatives is busy passing high-profile gun control legislation that have little hope of enactment to give Democrats cover during the upcoming midterm election, the hopes of most members of Congress advocating gun control are pinned on a Senate deal announced last week.
But recent developments indicate that agreement may be unraveling, according to the Capitol Hill blog Roll Call.
As originally announced last week, the Senate deal would include grant money to help states implement “red flag” laws. Those laws would allow law enforcement and family members to petition a court to temporarily seize firearms from those who show signs of becoming a danger to themselves or the public.
But Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) — one of ten GOP lawmakers whose support of the legislative framework is essential of its passage – said this week that states that don’t have red flag laws – and don’t want them – should be allowed to use that grant money for other purposes.
That stipulation has the potential to split the 10 Republican and 10 Democrats who agreed to the deal, since the Democrats assumed that the grants would be used to encourage all fifty states to adopt red flag laws.
In other developments, the Biden administration appears to be deliberately moving unilaterally to make it more difficult and expensive for America’s 100 million gun owners to obtain ammunition for their AR-15’s.
A source close to Winchester Repeating Arms – which operates the Lake City Ammunition Plant in Independence, MO for the U.S. Army – said the company been informed that it may no longer manufacture or sell caliber .223/5.56 mm ammunition on the civilian market.
The AR-15 is the “scary black gun’” that the left has demonized for decades as the source of much of America’s gun violence. Industry sources indicate that there are 20- to 30-million AR platforms or variants now in civilian hands and that the Army’s Lake City plant supplies as much as 30 percent of the civilian .223/5.56 ammo market.
Following recent incidents across the United States — including the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, TX – the U.S. House passed a tough gun control measure on June 8. The Protect Our Kids Act was passed on a mostly part-line vote, with five Republicans in favor and two Democrats against.
That legislation raises the age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon to 21 and bans the sale of large-capacity magazines.
The majority of Utah’s congressional delegation voted against the bill, saying it was clearly unconstitutional.
In the Senate, however, Romney welcomed that legislation and was among the 20 bipartisan senators who joined to forge an agreement in the upper house of Congress.
The proposal reportedly includes heightened scrutiny for gun buyers under the age of 21; increased funding for school security; more funding for mental health treatments; and resources for states to implement red flag laws.
Cornyn and the nine other GOP senators are under intense pressure from their constituents to repudiate the Senate deal. Capitol Hill staffers suggest that the volume of those protests will go up if the news from Lake City is confirmed.
Nineteen states have red flag laws, but they are not always enforced because of lack of funding and training by law enforcement. That’s the shortfall that Democrats assumed the grants in the Senate deal would correct.
But Cornyn said that those grants should also be available for other purposes. He cited assisted outpatient treatment as one of those options.
As permitted in 47 states, assisted outpatient treatment is often used as a court-ordered condition allowing severely mentally ill individuals to remain in their communities rather than being hospitalized or incarcerated.