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Proposed assault weapons ban would protect more than 2,200 firearms

One model of the Ruger .223 caliber Mini-14 is on the proposed list to be banned, while a different model is on a list of exempted firearms. Both hold dozens of rounds of ammunition. 'What a joke,' says a former FBI agent wounded in a bank robbery shoot-out.

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This undated evidence photo shows the Ruger Mini–14 used in the deadly 1986 bank robbery shootout in Miami that left two FBI agents dead and five others injured. New models of this firearm that have folding stocks and pistol grips would be banned under proposed gun control legislation. But a similar model without a folding stock would be exempted. Both models can take detachable magazines that hold dozens of rounds of ammunition.

FBI/AP

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Congress' latest crack at a new assault weapons ban would protect more than 2,200 specific firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle that is nearly identical to one of the guns used in the bloodiest shootout in FBI history.

One model of that firearm, the Ruger .223 caliber Mini-14, is on the proposed list to be banned, while a different model of the same gun is on a list of exempted firearms in legislation the Senate is considering. The gun that would be protected from the ban has fixed physical features and can't be folded to be more compact. Yet the two firearms are equally deadly.

"What a joke," said former FBI agent John Hanlon, who survived the 1986 shootout in Miami. He was shot in the head, hand, groin and hip with a Ruger Mini-14 that had a folding stock. Two FBI agents died and five others were wounded.

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Hanlon recalled lying on the street as brass bullet casings showered on him. He thought the shooter had an automatic weapon.

Both models of the Ruger Mini-14 specified in the proposed bill can take detachable magazines that hold dozens of rounds of ammunition. "I can't imagine what the difference is," Hanlon said.

President Barack Obama has called for restoring a ban on military-style assault weapons and limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

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