Because when you or I have one, it’s a “semi-automatic assault weapon”, but when it’s in the hands of the police, it’s a service rifle. It’s amazing how the person who holds the rifle can change its nature entirely, and in the span of the same article at that.
Compare the following excerpts from the same newspaper article:
Mr. Marandos’ family implored the state Legislature’s Judiciary Committee to close a loophole that allows people to legally purchase semi-automatic, military-style rifles in Massachusetts if they were manufactured before Oct. 1, 1993.
The police officers who responded to the initial call had only side arms and a single-service rifle. (emphasis mine)
The entire article is littered with weasel words, referring to pro-gun activists as the “gun lobby”, and really doesn’t even seem to make an attempt to appear to be an unbiased report of the facts. It of course has the usual crap about the federal AWB:
A federal ban on semi-automatic assault weapons expired in 2004, but Massachusetts is one of seven states to have its own ban. The federal ban grandfathered weapons that were made before 1994.
What they fail to point out here is that the neither the assault weapons ban or Maryland’s AWB did anything to prevent the crime that this article references. Unfortunately, instead of coming to the logical conclusion that maybe gun bans don’t prevent crime, they’ve decided to try an enact an even more total ban on “semi-automatic military style” rifles.
I am really glad I don’t live in Massachusetts.