The UK’s Daily Mail is sounding the alarm about a dangerous new weapon:
A rifle promoted as having an ‘unequalled rate of fire’ of military-style ammunition is now freely available to hundreds of thousands of Australian gun owners.
The Verney-Carron Speedline can fire six shots in about three seconds and is being sold with little restriction because of what its opponents say is a legal loophole.
That “military-style” ammunition is otherwise known as .308 Winchester, originally designed and sold as a hunting round. And they’re calling the new gun a “license to kill.”
Verney-Carron calls the Speedline a “semi-semi-automatic” rifle. When a round fires, the bolt locks back in the open position. The shooter can then release it with the flick of a thumb, chambering a new round and putting it back into battery, ready to fire another shot. To wit . . .
Aussie gun controllers aren’t amused. Neither is the Daily Mail’s Stephen Gibbs.
The Speedline .308 was specifically designed for Australia and is being cynically promoted as a ‘semi-semi-automatic’ weapon, a description coined by its critics.
Because the ‘revolutionary’ French-made rifle is not technically semi-automatic it has been deemed a ‘Category B’ firearm along with bolt-action centre-fire rifles, requiring only the second-easiest type of licence to obtain.
Oh noes! Under Australia’s strict gun control regime, category B firearms are centerfire bolt, pump or lever action rifles (including muzzleloaders). The only category that’s less regulated are rimfires and non-semi-auto shotguns.
Category B licences are held by hundreds of thousands of Australians including farmers, target shooters and recreational hunters.
But as the Daily Mail reports, the Speedline really isn’t new at all.
The rifle has previously been available in Australia chambered to take .300 and .30-06 ammunition.
That video was from 2017. So why all of the hyperventilating now over the new .308 version of the rifle that’s due to hit Australian stores in October?
The .308 Winchester ammunition which the latest Verney-Carron rifle fires is the commercial cartridge from which the military 7.62 round was derived.
OMG! That’s the same round AR-10 rifles fire! And the FN-FAL!
(Yes, .30-06 packs more ft.lbs of energy than .308, but don’t tell the Aussies that.)
[New South Wales Greens MP David] Shoebridge has previously referred to the Verney-Carron Speedline as a ‘semi-semi-automatic’ and objected to its relaxed classification.
It was designed for ‘an extremely rapid cycling through of shot after shot’ and should not have a Category B classification.
‘These guns are designed and marketed as being able to send out a spray of military-calibre bullets and they should not be available for sale in Australia.’
Samantha Lee of Gun Control Australia said the Verney-Carron had slipped through a legal loophole because it was a new category of firearm.
‘They push the law as far as they can but still comply with it,’ Ms Lee said of firearm manufacturers and importers.
‘The problem is the law itself is so outdated in terms of the categorisation system we have here in Australia.
In other words, a manufacturer has looked at the laws in Australia and designed a rifle to comply with them. The Speedline has been legally sold there for years. But Oz’s gun grabbers are in a tizzy because the rifle will now be chambered in a caliber that’s almost just like 7.62 NATO!
You can’t make this stuff up. As a learned man once said, there is nothing you can imagine, no matter how ludicrous, that will not promptly be enacted before your very eyes.