Lanny Breuer: “Very Few People Need Semiautomatic Weapons Or Long Guns”

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 months ago


A top US Justice Department official told lawmakers Tuesday that better controls are needed to help stem the flow of weapons from the United States into Mexico, where they may end up in the hands of drug cartels.

“It is clear that we need more tools to get those people who are buying the guns and illegally transporting them to Mexico,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing. “We need to stop the flow.”

According to Justice Department figures, in the past five years 94,000 weapons have been recovered from Mexican drug cartels, of which 64,000 — 70 percent — come from the United States.

Yet currently the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), a division of the Justice Department, is not permitted to “receive reports about multiple sales of long guns, of any kind of semiautomatic weapon or the like,” Breuer said.

“Very few hunters in the United States or sports people and law-abiding people really need to have semiautomatic weapons or long guns,” he said.

Breuer said that if US officials were notified then they could keep track of the powerful weapons.

This is a remarkable report on the testimony before Congress for several reasons.  First, even now after all of the information is out on the scandal that Fast and Furious has become, Breuer is still pretending that the handover of thousands of weapons to the drug cartels with absolutely no ability whatsoever to track them any further than the border was all about trying to stop the flow of weapons to the drug cartels.  It’s absurd on its face.

Next, Breuer still insists on perpetuating the 90% myth (although it has now morphed into the 70% myth in an apparent attempt to make it more believable).  Finally, Breuer steps on his own testimony by reintroducing the anti-firearms argument to the calculus.  If he was smart he would have avoided this as a potential for contaminating his (and the Justice Department’s) motives.  But like a dog returns to its own vomit he must continue his assault on the Second Amendment.  It’s a canard, this idea that so-called assault weapons are somehow responsible for mass shootings in the U.S.  Based on information I compiled when examining Heller II and assault weapons, long guns and assault rifles were no more likely to be used in shootings than handguns or shotguns.  Moreover, the number of mass shootings is so low as to be statistically insignificant.  They just don’t happen that often in America regardless of what the main stream media portrays.

But Lanny Breuer wants everyone to shoot a bolt action rifle, apparently, or better yet, nothing at all (Would Breuer allow us to use single action revolvers?).  Law abiding citizens just don’t need such a thing, according to him.  Not for hunting feral hogs in Texas or Georgia, not for home defense, not for sporting (such as 3-gun or other shooting competitions like IDPA), not for any reason at all.  And thus has Breuer told us what he and the Justice Department (and by extension, the White House) really thinks is important in this whole affair.  Citizens don’t need firearms.

Got it.  Hopefully the American public will file that one away for the next election cycle.

UPDATE: Cross posted at reddit/r/guns.

UPDATE #2: Thanks to Dave Hardy for the attention.

UPDATE #3: Thanks to Say Uncle for the attention.

  • Dave Hardy

    He’s only against such firearms falling into the wrong hands. I.e., people who aren’t government employees.

    I always liked the logic of “semiautomatic firearms are not needed for use against criminals, but only for committing mass murders, therefore only law enforcement should have them.” Last I heard, law enforcement was not in the business of committing mass murders, but was in the business of defending against criminals.

  • Pingback: Of Arms and the Law: Where do they find these guys?()

  • TS Alfabet

    I have to admit that I simply cannot understand the Left’s obsession with taking guns away from Americans. I mean, in terms of Leftist priorities in the country, you would think that private gun-ownership would be no higher than the middle of the list compared with things like nationalizing more of the private sector, banning unapproved expressions of thought or politically incorrect speech. That sort of thing.

    Maybe that is the difference between conservatives and liberals. Liberals attack on every front. They push their agenda everywhere and in every way they can. When a conservative gets elected, we are wagging our tails with joy if that leader even proposes *one* conservative idea, like tax cuts. I suppose that’s what made W. Bush such a disappointment. With the exception of tax cuts and the idea to allow private social security accounts, he pretty much governed like a moderate-liberal.

    Lost in the off-topic weeds again. Sorry.

  • Pingback: SayUncle » To Assistant AG Lanny Breuer()

  • Lina Invere

    “Very few hunters in the United States … really need to have semiautomatic weapons or long guns”

    My 78 year old father, who still actively hunts (biologically he’s more like in his ’60s), who remembers the days when you kept your hunting gun in your school locker so you wouldn’t have to make a trip back home before you went into the field, has never “hunted” with anything but a long gun, that is a rifle or shotgun. Sure, he often carries a handgun on our property for opportunistic varmint control (humans have to take up the slack after we suppressed all the other apex predators a long time ago in most of the nation), but he and the vast majority of hunters need and use long guns.

    He’s also left handed, which means he’s often needed semi-automatic ones that can be much more easily operated ambidextrously (for wingshooting he exclusively uses the Browning “humpback” Automatic 5, he still has the receipt for the family’s first one, bought by his left-handed father in the 1930s with FN marks).

    Lanny Breuer has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about, and telling the nation’s hunters that they don’t need long guns is not gong to help this Administration.

  • Peter

    “They’ll never come after your deer rifle, first they’ll call it a Sniper Rifle”
    We know the lefties would never risk a frontal assault on the second, instead they will nibble away with magazine limits, size limits, power limits, etc…
    This would dovetail nicely with the campaign to make all of us criminals by criminalizing so many behaviors as to make it impossible to NOT break a law at some point in your life.

  • Herschel Smith

    Peter that’s a great point. Even if Lanny Breuer would allow us to have bolt action rifles (suppose they succeeded on the semi-auto front), sooner or later they’ll figure out that a 7.62 mm or .338 rifle can lay down a high velocity round from a long ways off. They will call it a sniper rifle and the fact that it’s bolt action won’t matter. It isn’t magazine sizes or semiautomatic designs or forend grips or tactical lights or collapsible stocks that they don’t like. It’s guns they don’t like.

  • Lina Invere

    In 2004 Teddy Kennedy was going all the way down to the venerable .30-30, which no doubt to its ubiquity is responsible for an above average number of shootings of police (prior to this quoted section he was denouncing “.223″ and 7.62 ammo):

    Another rifle caliber, the 30.30 caliber, was responsible for penetrating three officers’ armor and killing them in 1993, 1996, and 2002. This ammunition is also capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating.

    It is outrageous and unconscionable that such ammunition continues to be sold in the United States of America….

    It’s guns they don’t like.

    And the attitudes that go along with gun ownership. As Jeff Cooper said in The Art of the Rifle, “Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen.”

  • Herschel Smith

    Thanks Lina. Smart observations and I appreciate the pointer to these statements by Kennedy. I don’t miss the man at all.

  • kalashnikat

    The Constitutional Convention and the Congress make laws and set policy, Mr. Breuer, not unelected ignorant nabobs like yourself…You’re entitled to your own opinon, but you’re not entitled to make that opinion into a regulation or a law…it’s none of yer damn business what kinds of guns the People own because the People are sovereign, not Assistant Underbellies of the Injustice Department like yourself.

You are currently reading "Lanny Breuer: “Very Few People Need Semiautomatic Weapons Or Long Guns”", entry #7854 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns,Obama Administration,Second Amendment and was published November 1st, 2011 by Herschel Smith.

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