Lifetime NRA member, hunter, security expert advocates assault weapon ban

Dec 20, 2012, 16:27 ET from William Vassell

BRONX, N.Y., Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- William Vassell, a lifetime NRA member, never questioned his support for the constitutional rights of gun owners.

Then came the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn. In a flash, his support for the type of assault weapons used by Adam Lanza evaporated.

"I once owned an AR-15, a weapon similar to the Bushmaster used by Adam Lanza," he noted. "There's no need for private citizens to own that type of weapon."

Vassell, president of a commercial security firm and member of the Tamarac Shooting Preserve in New York, believes the time has come for the NRA and gun owners to accept restrictions on the types of guns citizens can own.

"The industry term for semi-automatic weapons that hold large clips is 'black rifles.' They're not used for hunting; their only purpose is to kill people. I fired mine once and then sold it.

"If Adam Lanza hadn't had a Bushmaster — if, say, he'd had a shotgun — he couldn't have done as much damage. The answer is simple: a total ban on assault rifles. The only people who should have an assault rifle are law enforcement, the military, and maybe security companies in places such as nuclear facilities.

"No civilian should have one. Because this is not going to stop. All too soon this will happen somewhere else."

Vassell, who built a $100 million security company, sold it, and later started another security firm, agrees with California laws that restrict magazine capacity to 10 bullets. But he'd go further.

"I'd support confiscation of assault rifles. Military-style arms, rifles with folding stocks that can be easily concealed, high-capacity clips… there's no reason to own them.

"I probably won't get a Christmas card from the NRA next year, but I don't care. I agree with Mayor Bloomberg and the other voices calling for stricter gun controls. This can't go on."

William Vassell is president of William Vassell Services, Inc., a commercial security firm. He was previously Chairman, CEO and founder of Command Security Corporation, a publicly traded $100 million security provider, and has provided security analyses and protection for a number of schools and many other public and private facilities.

SOURCE William Vassell