"It's a fun toy, a nice collectible. This is not something a drug lord or a bank robber is going to want to use.
It's not easy to conceal."
Ronnie Barrett, owner of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing., quoted in
Voting from the Rooftops.
50 Caliber Sniper Guns
-- Weapons of Terrorism
Why do ordinary citizens need guns that can shoot through armored limousines, blow up fuel tanks, take down
helicopters, destroy radar dishes, and hit other targets from 1,800 yards? Why is the United States willing to
make sniper rifles used by militaries around the globe readily available as tools for terror with the clear
capacity for assassination and assault on society's infrastructure?
Clearly, these weapons, with their powerful, long-range capacity, are ideal instruments of terrorism.
The magazine Women & Guns touts .50 caliber weapons as the next hottest thing in sports shooting for
women. But, there are many of us in the U.S. and elsewhere who are concerned about the availability of such
weapons. The Violence Policy Center's (VPC) report, Voting from the
Rooftops, details the truly frightening capacity of these weapons of destruction. According to the VPC, the US gun industry sold at least 25 of these
.50 caliber sniper rifles to Osama Bin Laden's terrorist network, Al Qaeda.
Closer to home, .50 caliber weapons were fired at the FBI by the Branch Davidians at
Waco, Texas. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who
were responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, had .50 caliber weapons in
On February 22nd, the Assembly Select Committee on Gun Violence and concerned citizens will be gathering
in California at the West Hollywood City Council chambers for a press conference at 10:15 a.m. and an
informational hearing on .50 caliber weapons with the author of Voting from the
Rooftops, Tom Diaz of the Violence Policy Center, and Congressman Henry Waxman, who will discuss congressional research on .50
caliber rifles, and Assemblyman Paul Koretz, who will provide information about what California can do about
putting .50 caliber weapons in the same classification as machine guns under California state law.
For additional information see: New VPC Report Debunks Gun Industry Claim That Bin Laden's .50 Caliber
Sniper Rifles Were Obtained Through CIA Aid Program and MSNBC Investigates the