The expiration of the 10-year-old federal assault rifle ban has changes only the aesthetics of available weapons, says Steven King of Belleville, Il.’s Indoor Shooting Range, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. King noted that the ban focused on whether guns had certain physical characteristics: a collapsible stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet lug, a flash suppressor, and a detachable box magazine. Since the ban expired, King has seen more customers purchasing rifle accessories. At King’s range, the average price of an assault rifle is between $500 and $1,200–more than a criminal usually would spend on a gun, he said.
Belleville Police Capt. Jim Goodwin said just about any weapon, including illegal fully automatic ones, remains available. “If someone wanted to purchase a type of weapon, they won’t go to a respectable gun dealer,” he said. “If you have the money and contacts you can get any type of weapon.” Another part of the ban kept civilians from owning high-capacity ammunition clips. A handgun clip could only have 10 bullets at maximum capacity; now that the ban has expired, civilians may purchase 17-round magazines for some pistols. Before, these clips were marked, “Law enforcement only,” King said.