SKS assault rifles like the one reported to have been used in an ambush shooting on Jan. 9 to murder one police officer and critically wound another in Ceres, Ca., are a threat to law enforcement, charges the Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C.-based firearms policy think tank. Last year, at least six law enforcement officers were killed with SKSs. The center called on President to use executive authority ban the import of all foreign-made assault rifles. The administration has authorized the importation of SKS assault rifles made in Albania and the former Yugoslavia.
A 2002 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report labeled the SKS “the rifle model most frequently encountered by law enforcement officers” and stated that “these high capacity rifles pose an enhanced threat to law enforcement, in part because of their ability to expel projectiles at velocities that are capable of penetrating the type of soft body armor typically worn by the law enforcement officers.” Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center noted that “these inexpensive assault rifles are readily available across the United States.” She noted that the SKS assault rifle was not covered by the 1994 federal assault weapons ban, which expired in September 2004.