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Clinton Lets Israelis Export 'Banned' Rifles

  • Clinton is a staunch gun grabber, unless America's favorite Mideast ally is behind the guns.
By Mike Blair

President Bill Clinton is allowing the import of tens of thousands of what can be described as Israeli "assault-type" firearms into the United States.

Israel Military Industries (IMI), the massive Israeli government-owned arms- producing complex has been given the go-ahead by the Clinton administration to export 10,000 or more semi-automatic versions of the well-known Uzi submachine gun annually to the United States. In addition, thousands of Israeli semi-automatic versions of the Galil assault rifle will also be imported.

The Israeli firearms will be marketed in the United States through a joint venture with the U.S. gun manufacturer, O.F. Mossberg and Sons, a major supplier of sporting and military shotguns.

The import of Uzis has been banned in the United States since 1986. In 1994 a U.S. law supposedly designed to cut down on violent crime in the nation expanded that ban to include about 20 other types of semi-automatic firearms by brand name and hundreds of others generically. Mark Shachar, marketing director for IMI's small arms division, said the company has made "adjustments to both weapons,' the Uzi and the Galil, primarily by making them with smaller magazines that hold just 10 rounds.

However, if there are magazines at all, the firearms can utilize magazines of larger capacity.

The semi-automatic Uzis will probably have a 16-inch barrel, just legal under the law that separates a rifle from handgun. This will allow the Uzis to be at gun shops across America.

The semi-automatic Galil assault rifle is in reality a sophisticated version of the famous Soviet-designed AK-47 assault rifle, which in its original semi- automatic version is for the most part banned in the United States.

The import of hundreds of thousands of Red Chinese versions of Soviet AK47 and their resulting use in a number of violent crimes, including a massacre of children in a Stockton, California, school yard several years ago, gave the gun-grabbers in America an excuse to call for the recent passage of anti-gun legislation. These laws have been emotionally pushed through Congress and state and local legislative bodies across the nation.

IMI's Shachar said that the Uzis will be available in the United States sometime late this year or early next year.