April 2001

Guns and Shooting News

Ashcroft’s Views. In his first public interview since taking office, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft made it clear that he feels the nation has “enough [gun] laws on the books” and that enforcement of current laws is the answer to criminal violence.

Criticizing the Clinton Administration for allowing federal gun prosecutions to decline 46 percent over the past eight years, Ashcroft endorsed Richmond, Virginia’s Project Exile program, which focuses federal resources on apprehending, prosecuting, and penalizing felons who use guns to commit crimes.

Environmental Problem Solved? For the first time ever in the United States, a shooting range has received a federal permit to allow shooting into and over wetland areas. The Naperville Sportsman’s Park, a 50-year-old trap range within the city limits of Naperville, Illinois, had been closed down by a federal judge because the range’s shotfall zone was oriented toward a stream channel and wetlands. The judge ruled that under the Clean Water Act, a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit was required for the range to continue its shooting activities.

Now, after two years of permit application work and administration review, Naperville has been granted a state permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the range received U.S. EPA approval. The permit, issued for a five-year term, requires the use of non-lead shot, biodegradable targets, and a management program for the disposal of shotwads and targets.

Shooters nationwide could benefit now that the U.S. EPA recognizes that a switch to non-lead shot presents an acceptable alternative to completely shutting down ranges faced with similar circumstances.

Shopping Trip. On page 7 of the February 2001 issue, we neglected to say where we found 10-round .45 ACP magazines for the Practical pistols we tested, and many of you wondered where to find them. The prices and products were from the current Brownells No. 53 catalog, (641) 623-4000. Sorry for the omission.

“Streetsweeper” Deadline. Next month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will be closing registration for shotguns commonly known as “Striker-12,” “USAS-12,” or “Streetsweeper.” These shotguns were classified in 1994 as destructive devices under the NFA, 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53. Since that time ATF has allowed the registration of these shotguns without the payment of tax. ATF is now announcing the closing of the registration period effective May 1, 2001. Failure to register these shotguns prior to the deadline may result in seizure and forfeiture of the firearm, a fine and/or imprisonment.

For application forms and other information, you can go to the ATF Web site at www.atf.treas.gov or call (202) 927-8330.

-Todd Woodard