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Battle Creek police charge man carrying a rifle with a misdemeanor


BATTLE CREEK (WKZO) -- A Battle Creek man, who was taken into custody for trying to take a semi-automatic rifle onto a commercial passenger bus has entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor.

They haven’t been able to find a gun charge he violated, although it is against the law to take a gun on a bus, he was arrested before he got on the Greyhound. 

Jason Smith told officers he was on his way to Lansing to sell the gun.

He says he initially pulled away from officers, didn't want to be touched and acted nervously because he was carrying a gun.

He has been given 4 days in jail and a $260 fine for resisting an officer.

Meanwhile Battle Creek police may ask federal investigators to review their case to determine if any federal gun laws were violated.

Several news organizations initially called the SKS rifle that Smith had in his bag an "assault weapon", and many people do, but gun advocates say its not an assault rifle because while there was initially only a few that were manufactured to be fully-automatic, the most common military versions were not. 

Gun advocates fear that if assault weapons are ever banned again, that the SKS will be banned too if its called an 'assault rifle'.   It was breifly the Russian Military's weapon of choice before they adopted the AK-47 assault rifle, and remained popular with the armies of many Soviet Pact nations, including China, for decades.

It worked for them because they could lay down alot of fire within the relatively close ranges that most battles are fought.  It was lightweight and magazine fed, making quick loading of large numbers of rounds possible. 

An SKS semi-automatic rifle has been used in mass killings in the U.S. and was the weapon that Leonard Statler used to kill Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer Eric Zapata. 

The officers who confronted Jason Smith at the Battle Creek bus station this week didn't know whether it was an assault rifle or not at the time. They just wanted to get home alive that night.