Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon, addressed a joint meeting of the house and senate today. This gave him the perfect pulpit to use for his continued criticism of the Arizona immigration law (you know, the one that is exactly the same as our current federal immigration law (and the same as California’s obviously unenforced law)) and more repetition of the Mexican Gun Canard.
The now-lapsed 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban did not make possession of machine guns illegal. Machine gun ownership has been regulated since 1934 (and civilian ownership of machine guns manufactured post 1986 is illegal thanks to the Hughes amendment; pre-1986 machine guns are perfectly legal). The ’94 ban merely made certain combinations of features illegal; your AR-15 could have a pistol grip or an adjustable stock, but not both. The aftermarket price of pre-ban magazines shot through the roof; possession of high capacity magazines manufactured post-ban was limited to the law enforcement and military.
AR-15 style rifles are extremely customizable; you can get one in any of a dozen calibers, and choose whatever grip, handguard, and stock you prefer. They are making inroads into the hunting market, and are handy for home defense. Any resurrection of the AWB is political suicide, and generally only popular in states that already have extremely restrictive gun laws (CA, NY, MA, IL).
Calderon should worry more about making sure his military doesn’t lose more weapons to the gangs than it already has; I imagine that is a much larger source of guns than the US is.