Teens leaving funeral arrested for full-auto guns

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Full-auto.

I’m not going to lie, I have almost no experience with machine guns. They’re too expensive for me to obtain legally, and the penalties for doing so illegally just make them another kind of expensive.

However, for some people, that second kind of expensive just doesn’t seem to be that bad. They’re mostly convinced they won’t get caught. That’s probably especially true if your age starts with a “1.”

As some teens in Minneapolis just found out, though, being young and having a weapon modified to be full-auto doesn’t protect you from arrest.

Teenage twin brothers have been charged with possessing firearms illegally altered to fire automatically and with fleeing police after leaving the funeral of a slain friend this week in Minneapolis.

According to charges filed in Hennepin County District Court, the 18-year-old brothers, Quantez and Cortez Ward, were seen riding in a vehicle from which police seized three handguns outfitted with devices called auto-sears — commonly known as “Glock switches” — that can turn the weapons fully automatic.

The brothers did not have lawyers as of Wednesday afternoon, but they were scheduled to make their initial court appearances Thursday, when the court could assign them attorneys.

Minneapolis police and Hennepin County Sheriff’s personnel were conducting surveillance at a funeral for 15-year-old Santana Jackson on Jan. 17 when they saw the brothers arrive, according to the charges. Authorities had learned earlier that they would attend and likely be carrying handguns modified to fire fully automatic.

Authorities and crime prevention workers say the modified firearms have been showing up at crime scenes with frightening frequency in recent months.

Now, this is a good time to look at gun control as a whole.

Full-auto is tightly regulated. Handguns are regulated, too. And no law allows teenagers too young to be named in the papers to purchase firearms, much less buy handguns.

And yet, here we are.

What happened is that these kids are apparently criminals, which means they’re not interested in what the law permits, especially when it comes to guns.

They had full-auto handguns, folks. Again, I can’t lawfully get something like that without paying new car money and jumping through a pile of hoops first. But the bad guys don’t care about that. They just do what they want, putting law-abiding citizens like us at a serious disadvantage.

After all, if they can lay down that kind of fire, my semi-auto pistol isn’t going to be able to match it.

Granted, I’m not one of those who think full-auto is the greatest thing ever, but I do understand the reality that it does some things semi-auto can’t. That’s not a huge deal ordinarily, but it becomes a big deal when the bad guys have it and we don’t.

These two have been arrested, but we all know that they’re far from the only two with such weapons in Minneapolis or elsewhere.

It’s well past time that lawmakers recognize that the laws aren’t working except to hamstring the law-abiding citizens of this great nation, so maybe it’s time to repeal some of these stupid laws and give us a chance at standing on a level playing field with the bad guys.