The Truth Behind The Proposed New Assault Weapons Ban

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posted on January 7, 2016
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When anti-gunners in Congress introduced a new proposal in mid-December to ban so-called “assault weapons”—actually semi-automatic rifles owned by an estimated 8 to 9 million law-abiding Americans—gun-rights advocates heaved a big sigh, but not of relief. It’s easy to understand why: The battle against politicians trying to ban semi-automatic rifles, sometimes called modern sporting rifles, has gone on for decades.

We even lost the fight once, back in 1994, when Bill Clinton managed to push such a ban through Congress. After 10 years, however, that ban was allowed to sunset, and even the government admitted afterward that it had no effect on crime.

Since then, nearly every time a criminal with a gun kills someone, renewed cries emerge for a new “assault weapon” ban. That’s despite the fact that, according to the FBI, less than 2.4 percent of all murders are committed with rifles of any kind—and so-called “assault weapons” are a only small subset of that number. 

Enter U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and his Assault Weapons Ban of 2015, which would ban the manufacture of AR-15s and similar firearms. At this writing, some 90 Democrats, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., have signed onto the legislation as co-sponsors.And while many in the so-called “mainstream” media are touting the ban as a “reinstatement” of the Clinton Gun Ban, NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action is quick to point out that this new legislation is far from a simple “reinstatement.”

And while many in the so-called “mainstream” media are touting the ban as a “reinstatement” of the Clinton Gun Ban, NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action is quick to point out that this new legislation is far from a simple “reinstatement.”

As NRA-ILA explained:

The 1994 ban allowed manufacturers to produce AR-15s without flash suppressors and one or two other external attachments, and to make similar adjustments to other firearms. As a result, the number of AR-15s made and sold during the 10 years the ban was in effect was a quarter of a million greater than the number produced and sold during the preceding 10 years. Additionally, 50 million magazines capable of holding over 10 rounds were allowed to be imported while the ban was in effect. CBS “60 Minutes” reported that the first year of the “ban” was “the best year for the sales of assault weapons ever.”

That’s not the case with the new legislative proposal. That measure is far more restrictive and punitive, as NRA-ILA further explained:

The new ban proposed in H.R. 4269 is another story. It would prohibit the manufacture of most detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles, numerous semi-automatic shotguns configured for defensive purposes, any semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine over 10 rounds (except for a tubular magazine .22), any semi-automatic pistol like the HK SP-89, any semi-automatic pistol with a fixed magazine over 10 rounds, revolving cylinder shotguns, various other named and described firearms, frames and receivers of banned guns, and ammunition magazines over 10 rounds, except those for tubular .22 rimfire rifles.

They’re not the “weapons of choice for criminals.” They’re not used in the majority of crimes—in fact, they’re relatively rarely used in crimes.In truth, if such a measure were to be passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama—or by a possible future President Hillary Clinton—Americans would find their right to keep and bear arms severely infringed for years to come. And America’s favorite rifle would quickly disappear—possibly forever—from gun shop shelves throughout the country.

One irony in this situation is that the firearms these gun-haters want to ban are not—as many would have you believe—more powerful than other firearms: Many states don’t even consider them powerful enough for hunting deer. They’re not machine guns. They can’t “spray bullets”: They simply shoot one bullet each time the trigger is pulled. They’re not the “weapons of choice for criminals.” They’re not used in the majority of crimes—in fact, they’re relatively rarely used in crimes. And regardless of what they look like, the firearms they want to ban are no different from any other firearm in America.

Even more ironic is the fact that this proposal comes at a time when support for such a ban is extremely low. A mid-December ABC News/Washington Post poll found that public support for banning so-called “assault weapons” had dropped to the lowest levels in 20 years, with 53 percent of respondents opposing such a ban.

USE YOUR POWER!

Law-abiding Americans who care about their right to keep and bear arms should contact their U.S. representative and express their opposition to H.R. 4269. Call your U.S. representative at 202-225-3121 or write your lawmakers here.

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