The hate-filled extremist responsible for Saturday’s mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket got around the state’s strict gun control laws with a few minutes of work.
The gunman took responsibility for the shooting in a publicity-seeking document uploaded to the internet before the act. He is now charged with first-degree murder in connection with the massacre.
The 18-year-old fanatic — who attacked the Top’s Friendly Market supermarket with the hopes of killing unarmed black grocery shoppers — altered a weapon for the attack.
New York law requires that rifles be incompatible with detachable 30-round magazines. It’s illegal to own or sell them otherwise. The New York-compliant AR-15 the gunman used originally had a bar in its magazine well that prevented the use of standard 30-round magazines.
The gunman drilled out the bar and installed a regular magazine release in the weapon.
He advertised this process in his racialist manifesto, showing just how easily he rendered New York’s ban on rifles that can take 30-round magazines totally useless.
To make it accept magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds, he drilled out the permanent magazine bar and installed a traditional magazine release. That made the gun an unregistered “assault weapon” which he knew was illegal. The manifesto includes pictures of what he did. pic.twitter.com/EurHhumyzl
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) May 17, 2022
In the manifesto, the violent attention seeker referenced the state’s magazine ban.
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Crucially, while he explained how easily he got around the state’s laws about magazine capacity, he acknowledged that he was taking advantage of the state’s laws that make it more difficult for its residents to arm themselves.
He wrote that he felt more confident attacking civilians in a jurisdiction where they wouldn’t be able to fire back with standard-capacity AR-15s.
Buffalo killer says he specifically chose NY because their gun-control laws meant legally armed civilians would be limited to 10 round magazines. pic.twitter.com/JC41aVFegB
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 16, 2022
New York’s law all but ensured that the shooter’s victims would be outgunned. A retired police officer serving as a security guard at the grocery store who heroically returned fire at the armored shooter on Saturday was killed.
Legal gun owners who obtain weapons to defend themselves and their families are much more likely to obey strict gun laws than criminals who have little to lose.
Yet, according to WXXI-TV in Rochester, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is pushing even more gun control laws in the Empire State.
Ethnic and racial hatred has existed since the dawn of time, and sadly, there will always be a small contingent of antisocial individuals motivated to inflict violence on those different than themselves.
But that doesn’t mean the public has to bind itself under laws that let mass killers lay in wait to ambush their unarmed victims.