Miami Commissioner, Police Chief Rally To Ban AK-47s Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008 Updated: February 15th, 2008 01:32 PM PDT Story by nbc6.net MIAMI -- AK-47 assault rifles can shoot through a police vest or even through a car, and police said they're flooding Miami streets. Miami's police chief and a city commissioner talked on Thursday about banning assault rifles in the city. They said what they really want is for the federal government to take action. A Miami city commissioner said in 2004 that when Washington gets a cold, a sneeze is felt in Miami. That's how he described the president's decision not to renew the ban on assault rifles. Since then, there has been a 12 percent increase in shooting deaths and two police officers have been killed. "Our police are outgunned and out manned," said Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. Surrounded by police officers and the family of slain Miami Detective James Walker, Sarnoff took aim at AK-47s. An officer in the room held one that had been confiscated from a gang member. "These guns are designed to kill with lethal force," Sarnoff said. "Their place is on the battlefield, not in the city of Miami, not on our streets." Sarnoff said he wants citizens to send a letter, which is available on his Website, to their representatives in congress urging lawmakers to bring back the ban on assault weapons. Walker's family joined the effort. "Please, let's reinstate the ban on assault rifles," said Walker's widow. "Thank you." "If something isn't done, what is a young police officer going to be facing 10 years from now?" said Chief John Timoney. "It will be Rambo becomes reality." Timoney said the 2004 decision to let the ban expire resulted in a flood of AK-47s on South Florida streets. A pie graph showed a jump from 4 percent of shooting deaths in 2004 to 16 percent committed with assault rifles last year. "Our police don't stand a fighting chance against these military-style assault weapons," Sarnoff said. Sarnoff and Timoney said the national ban was reasonable regulation and not an assault on the right to bear arms.