Was The UCF Weapon An “Assault Rifle”?

| March 23, 2013

The Facts

According to the Daily Mail, University of Central Florida student James Oliver Seevakumaran had a.45-caliber handgun and a GSG-522 rifle, a cheap .22LR imitation of a Heckler & Koch MP5 assault rifle.

gsg522carbine1

The GSG522 Fan Site says this of the weapon:

The German Sport Guns GSG 522 is a great replica of the famous Heckler & Koch MP5. The MP5 has been around for a long time and still looks modern….it started in 1966! The MP5 has been used in SWAT teams in the USA and special military forces all over the world and come in all kinds of variations and caliber sizes.  They’ve also been in lots of movies because it’s one of the coolest looking sub machine guns ever created.

Seevakumaran was also said to have hundreds of rounds of ammunition, spare high-capacity 22-round “banana” magazines, a backpack filled with four improvised explosives, and a weapons training DVD.

Police believe Seevakumaran might have been preparing for a Virginia Tech-like campus shooting and had pulled the fire alarm to get the students outside before his attack. A rapid police response apparently caused Seevakumaran to change his mind, and he retreated to his room where he  then committed suicide.

Technically, the GSG-522 is not an assault rifle. It’s semi-automatic and as such requires that the trigger be pulled to fire each round. The case for it being an assault weapon also rests on somewhat shaky grounds, namely its MP5-based military styling and the fact that it ships with high-capacity  22-round magazines.

The GSG-522 fires a .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridge, and not the heavier and much more powerful .223 “intermediate” round used in an AR-15 or other assault weapons.

While .22LR firearms are not typically considered assault weapons, there have been known exceptions, like the Calico M100, an “assault weapon” available in both rifle and pistol variants.

calico100-22The Calico’s primary claim to fame is its spiral, high-capacity, 100-round magazine.

The Calico M100 was explicitly banned under the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and the Calico “Liberty” family was listed in the 2013 AWB as well.

On their website, Gander Mountain lists several features of the GSG-522 Carbine:

  • Compact Submachine Gun
  • Lightweight Carbine Styling
  • Removable Barrel Shroud
  • Ambidextrous Safety

The GSG-522 sells for $450.95 (MSRP), unlike the H&K MP5 on which it’s styled, and which would retail for over $2,500.

A 110 round drum magazine is also available, though not found at the Florida crime scene.

Summary

The weapon in question was a GSG-522 rifle, a cheap .22LR imitation of a Heckler & Koch MP5 assault rifle. Check out the photo in the link below.

“Technically, the GSG-522 is not an assault rifle, since it’s semi-automatic and as such requires that the trigger be pulled to fire each round. The case for it being an assault weapon also rests on somewhat shaky grounds, namely its MP5-based military styling and the fact that it ships with high-capacity 22-round magazines.”

The company also ships parts that let the weapon be converted into an “assault pistol”, i.e., short barrel and no stock.

It’s suspected that Seevakumaran bought the weapon mostly because it was available, looked deadly, and was relatively cheap.

http://www.gunfaq.org/2013/03/was-the-uscf-weapon-an-assault-rifle/

References

  1. Daily Mail – University of Central Florida Gunman
  2. American Tactical Imports – GSG-522
  3. GSG522 Fan Site

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