Re: “Commentary: Assault weapons ban is easily skirted and doesn’t lessen gun violence”:

Adam Winkler’s logic in his Dec. 16 piece on the limits of legislation banning assault weapons is more or less on target, but his facts are a little shaky.

His statement that the sale of machine guns to civilians was banned by the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 is incorrect. The sale of fully automatic weapons to the general public was ended by the National Firearms Act of 1934, but individuals, in states where it is legal, have been able to buy them after obtaining a license from the Treasury Department.

The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act further codified the provisions for obtaining a license and transferring these firearms. It did not prohibit owning them.

Such firearms are very carefully regulated, and some are very valuable. It’s my understanding that not one has ever been used in the commission of a crime.

David Petzal