Bill Ruger's innovative Mini-14 rifle has long been a staple product of the Ruger firearms line. With more than a million rifles produced since the gun was introduced in 1973, it is popular with generation after generation of shooter. However, even with this being said many Mini owners fear that the rifle may be subject to ban and increased regulation.
The legacy of the Mini-14 and its kin
Designed in the late 1960s when most of the male population of the United States had pulled time in the military, (remember there was a draft from 1940-1975), the Mini-14 was styled after several of the standard military rifles of the time. With the smooth and elegant lines of the M14 rifle, the simple, rugged M1 Garand-style breech bolt locking system, with a fixed-piston gas system and self-cleaning, moving gas cylinder, and the handiness of the M1 Carbine, the Mini-14 was a fast favorite. Firing .223 Remington, the civilian version of the 5.56x45mm NATO round of the M16/AR-15 series rifle, it benefited from large stocks of cheap and effective ammunition.
It soon found hard service with farmers as a ranch rifle, hunters as a taker of nuisance animals such as coyote and feral hogs, home defense advocates who wanted a handy little carbine for protecting their family, and law enforcement/corrections in need of a reliable patrol rifle/tower gun. A few were even sold to the military (French gendarme, Honduran Army, and Bermuda Defense Forces). With the proven design, Ruger expanded the rifle to the Mini-30 (chambered in 7.62x39mm), the Mini-6.8 (in 6.8 mm Remington SPC), and even the experimental .308 caliber Mini-XGI.
Then came the bans.
The wielding of ban sticks
In 1994, during the first Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the Ruger Mini-14 was not mentioned on the specific list of guns banned by name. However, extended magazines of 11 or more rounds were restricted to law enforcement only, which prompted the company to ship with flush fitting five rounders. Even California, with their notoriously strict state gun laws, still allowed the Mini-14 and its cousins so long as the gun was not the "Ruger Mini-14/5F folding stock model." This meant that as long as you did not have a Mini with a folding stock or pistol grip, you were good to go.
Unless you have been under a rock for the past month, you have heard countless talking heads, left leaning politicians, and others call for increased gun control in an effort to make us all safer. One of the most sweeping bills ever given to Congress is the one by Senator Dianne Feinstein. Her bill, the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2013' does both target and save the Ruger Mini-14.
What the bill says on the Mini
(screenshot of the bill listing a ban on the Ruger Mini 14 Rife)
On page 7, line 5 of AWB2013, the Senator specifically asks to ban from sale, production, or import, the "Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rife M14/20CF." Notwithstanding the fact that the gun is misspelled as being a 'Rife' instead of a 'rifle', the name corresponds to Ruger's Tactical Rifle. The $989 MSRP M-14/20CF comes from the factory with a collapsible buttstock and pistol grip but is otherwise about the same as other minis.
(We think this may be the evil Ruger Rife. Just look at that menacing pistol grip.)
The other 13 models of the legacy rifle are seemingly exempt.
This is shown as the "Ruger Mini 30" and the ''Ruger Mini-14 (w/o folding stock)" are listed as specifically exempted on lines 10 and 11 of page 24 of AWB 2013. While we are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice, it would appear that so long as your Mini does not have a pistol grip or folding stock, then it's not a dangerous assault weapon under this bill.
(screenshot of the bill allowing the Ruger to be specifically exempted from the ban)
Apparently, this would only happen if said cosmetic and ergonomic appendages are present.
Look up the word 'absurdity' for more clarification.
Of course the bill also targets any ''large capacity ammunition feeding device'' which means magazines that hold more than ten rounds when fully loaded.
Should you feel the need to find out more, and voice your opinion on the current and future legality of your Mini-14, feel free to call your congressional delegation and talk to them about AWB2013.
The ranch rifle you save could be your own.