Today there is lots of talk about banning semi-automatic firearms that can be labeled by certain gun control advocates as 'assault weapons'. Where would the beloved Hi-Point series of pistols and carbines fit into this possible ban? You may be surprised to find out.
A child of the 1994 AWB
Hi-Point and their parent company, MKS Supply, were founded in 1992 with the intent to sell a quality and affordable firearm built in the United States. Today three different subcontractors, Beemiller, Iberia Firearms, and Haskell make these firearms, under the Hi-Point banner. Most production and design took place after the federal Assault Weapons Ban became law in 1994, which heavily influenced Hi-Points R&D. One of the primary tenants of the AWB was against high capacity magazines. To this day, the company does not sell and never has sold magazines that take more than 10-rounds. Thomas E. Deeb, President of the company, has frequently declined to produce so-called high-capacity magazines in either single stack or double stack variants, even after the bill sunsetted in 2004.
(Hi-Point pistol owners have long wanted factory hi-cap mags, but it may be that the standard 10-round or less variety may be better for the company in the long run)
This factor may keep Hi-Point's head above water in any new ban; at least if there is a limit in magazine capacity.
With their emphasis on single stack magazines and the manufacturer's pledge to only make them, Hi-Point pistols may be able to escape the test of being capable of accepting a magazine with a capacity higher than ten rounds, which could eliminate them from the basic requirement of Senator Feinstein's latest attempts to further regulate these guns.
Hi-Point pistols, while heavy, do not weigh more than 50-ounces, which would not place them in danger of the weird attempt at regulation associated with the good senator's campaign against that category of gun either.
The 'old' 1994 AWB said that you had an illegal gun if it was semi-automatic with a detachable magazine and had *two* of the following: bayonet mount, folding or collapsible buttstock, flash suppressor or threaded barrel, pistol grip, or grenade launcher attachment. Gratefully, over twenty years of production and at least two different variants of the 995/4095/4595 carbines, the only one of these 'prohibited points' were a pistol grip. With only a single point, this kept these guns unbannable.
If the 'new' AWB is simply a rehash of the old one, then you will see no change in the legality of our Hi-Point carbine with OE magazines. However if a new ban is more strict, that may not be the case. Senator Feinstein is proposing in January 2013 a ban that make any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and just a single 'point' from the above list. The only work around that the company could do to stay in production would be to redesign the stock to take out the pistol grip. This would give the post-2013 Planet of the Apes gun a look more like the old Marlin Camp Carbine or Ruger PC9, but it would still be around.
(If the pistol grip stock of the current version of the Hi Point carbine is regulated by a new assault weapon's ban, you could see a more streamlined stock such as on this Ruger PC9.)
It wouldn't be the first time Hi-Point changed the stock on these rifles!
Either way, it looks like that even in the worst-case scenario that Hi-Point is shielded pretty good from a ban. All we can do is waiting and see...and call your congressional representative.