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Despite pushing for bans against so-called assault weapons, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry now admits he owns a “Communist Chinese assault rifle.”

”My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam,” Kerry told Outdoor Life magazine for its October issue. ”I don’t own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle.”

When asked by the New York Times for more information about the weapon, Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan said Kerry was a registered gun owner in Massachusetts.

Meehan said Thursday he was unable to ask the senator about the rifle because of Kerry’s hoarse voice, and the Times reports he did not respond to further inquiries.

Kerry is a hunter who voiced support for the recently expired assault-weapons ban, and often tells citizens he’s never met anyone who wanted to use an AK-47 to shoot a deer.

Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, told the Times the comment in Outdoor Life made Kerry’s support of the ban disingenuous.

”It’s OK for John Kerry to own these kinds of firearms, but it’s not OK for John Q. Public?” Arulanandam said, adding Kerry could be subject to court-martial if the gun were brought home from the war as a souvenir. ”He certainly owes people an explanation as to why there’s a double standard.”



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