Maria Turchi [letters, Sept. 22] said that the replica of the gun I held up during a news conference about the expiration of the assault weapons ban was of a "fully automatic" MAC-10 "submachine gun." Not true.

The replica of the gun that was used to kill my brother, FBI Special Agent Mike Miller, along with FBI agent Martha Dixon Martinez and D.C. police Sgt. Hank Daly in November 1994, was a MAC-10, which is a semiautomatic assault pistol.

Gunmakers long ago saw a market in making and supplying "civilian" semiautomatic versions of automatic weapons designed for the military, which is what the MAC-10 is. Manufacturers offer "civilian" versions of the M-16 used by our troops in Iraq; they go by the names of the AR-15, Match Target and the Bushmaster XM-15, the last used by the snipers who terrorized the D.C. area two years ago. Semiautomatic versions of Uzis and AK-47s also are available.

Semiautomatic assault weapons fire a bullet at each trigger pull, dozens of bullets in seconds. Such incredible firepower enabled one man to overwhelm a room of trained and armed law enforcement officers that November morning, and it is the reason that more than 2,000 police chiefs and sheriffs from 37 states have called for banning all assault weapons.


Executive Director

CeaseFire New Jersey

Cherry Hill, N.J.