John Burtt

John Burtt (Board Member)

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fifty Caliber Institute

Burtt is the Chairman of the Fifty Caliber Institute, an organization that claims that the .50 caliber sniper rifle is “helping to make our streets and nation safer.” The gun has been criticized by many—including members of law enforcement—as a weapon too dangerous for civilian use. John C. Killorin, a former special agent in charge of the Atlanta field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), called the .50 caliber sniper rifle "a devastatingly powerful weapon against which most troops, most law enforcement, no civilians, have any means of defense.” Additionally, in 2005, U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) and 28 cosponsors introduced legislation that would have placed stricter regulations on .50 caliber sniper rifles by placing them in the same federal regulatory class as machine guns. The 50 Caliber Sniper Rifle Reduction Act found that “the intended use of these long-range firearms…is the taking of human life and the destruction of materiel, including armored vehicles and such components of the national critical infrastructure as radars and microwave transmission devices, in addition 50 caliber sniper weapons pose a significant threat to civil aviation in that they are capable of destroying or disabling jet aircraft … The virtually unrestricted availability of these firearms and ammunition, given the uses intended in their design and manufacture, present a serious and substantial threat to the national security.” Burtt, on the other hand, has called the .50 caliber sniper rifle—which was used by both Branch Davidians during the Waco siege and by IRA terrorists—“the safest firearm to have ever been manufactured in the United States.”

Controversial Actions and Statements

Controversial Actions and Statements:

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