Certain members of Congress and the administration, led by Diane Feinstein, keep telling us that so called "assault weapons" and high capacity magazines should be banned. We keep hearing from anti-gun commentators that these types of weapons are unsuitable for personal defense.
However, in June of 2012 the GSA filed a bid solicitation on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security for up to $9,800,000 worth of firearms to be used as "personal defense weapons."
The solicitation announcement dated June 07, 2012 11:47 a.m., states in part,
"this announcement is being placed in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) paragraph 5.207. It is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items. 5.56x45mm NATO, select-fire firearm suitable for personal defense."
For the uninitiated, the 5.56x45 mm is the standard military issue cartridge used in the M-4/AR platform, the primary issue battle rifle of the Military.
In looking at specifications for this firearm that the federal government has determined is suitable for personal defense, some interesting details are revealed:
3.14.3 The barrel shall be equipped with a flash suppressor and/or muzzle brake. The muzzle device will be rated on its ability to reduce muzzle signature. It is desired that the muzzle devise effectively reduces muzzle rise during firing.
3.16.1 The pistol grip shall be a fixed, vertical pistol grip constructed of a durable material.
3.17.2 The buttstock shall be either collapsible or folding.
3.18.1 The front forend shall incorporate MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rails on the top, bottom, and both sides to accommodate the attachment of optics or accessories.
3.21.2 The magazine shall have a capacity to hold thirty (30) 5.56x45mm NATO rounds.
3.21.3 Two (2) magazines shall be supplied with each firearm shipped under contract.
So, basically, the Department of Homeland Security is trying to purchase almost $10 million worth of compact, military caliber rifles, with pistol grips, collapsible stocks, flash suppressors, accessory rails, and high capacity magazines to be used as PERSONAL DEFENSE WEAPONS, while at the same time Senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Vice President Joe Biden are trying to ban compact, military caliber weapons, with pistol grips, collapsible stocks, flash suppressors, accessory rails, and high capacity magazines, in part because they are unsuitable as PERSONAL DEFENSE WEAPONS.
Full details of this bid solicitation can be found here at FedBizOps