By: Teresa Mull
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is leading the charge once again to get a so-called "assault weapons" ban on the books.
Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 yesterday "to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines," Feinstein's office reported in a press release.
Guns.com explains what the ban calls for:
Besides outlawing 205 gun models by name — Feinstein’s original 1994 ban only listed around 20 specific models — the proposal would also define an “assault weapon” as a semi-automatic with a detachable magazine that included one of a list of cosmetic features that are deemed “military characteristics” such as a threaded barrel, pistol grip or folding stock. This is less lenient than the previous ban which allowed a “features test” that included two such characteristics.
In addition, the measure would expand federal law to ban adjustable stocks, Thordsen-style stocks such as used in “featureless rifles” marketed in states like California, “assault pistols” that weight more than 50-ounces when unloaded, and popular pistol stabilizing braces that have become widespread in recent years. Detachable magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds would be prohibited from transfer and guns grandfathered when the ban takes effect would be required to be locked up when not in use. A background check would be mandatory for future sale or gifting of grandfathered guns, even between two private parties.
'Military Style' Weapons Are Already Outlawed
Feinstein, during the unveiling of her prized bill, displayed the usual amount of liberal ignorance on guns that illustrates why they have no business regulating them.
"Americans across the nation are asking Congress to reinstate the federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines," Feinstein said. "If we’re going to put a stop to mass shootings and protect our children, we need to get these weapons of war off our streets."
Sen. Chris Murphy echoed her:
“Military-style assault rifles are the weapons of choice for mass murderers," Murphy said. "There’s just no reason why these guns, which were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, are sold to the public."
As knowledgeable Second Amendment supporters know, "military style" weapons are already outlawed. Guns "designed to kill as many people as possible," i.e. automatic weapons, or machine guns, are not sold to the general public.
Feinstein and her cronies want to re-define terms in order to outlaw guns they think look scary, regardless of their internal functions.
'It Won't Do What They Propose'
Gun University notes some of the extremely flawed logic behind this ban:
These so-called “assault weapons” are the most popular firearm in America. Let’s assume for a second that their existence is why we have mass shootings (it’s not). If that is [the Democrats'] belief, then why would they only ban new ones and grandfather current ones? The most common rifle in America is, by far, the AR-15. This bill does nothing to address the vast majority of rifles in America.
Now don’t get me wrong… we’re VERY HAPPY that they aren’t going after current rifles. We’re just pointing out the absurdity of this ban and how it won’t do what they propose.
No Significant Impact on Mass Public Shootings, Crime
John Lott's Crime Research Prevention Center reminded us in May 2018 that:
A large amount of research has been done on the federal assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004. It has consistently found no statistically significant impact on mass public shootings or any other type of crime.
This holds true even for research funded by the Clinton administration. Criminology professors Chris Koper and Jeff Roth concluded in a 1997 report for the National Institute of Justice, “The evidence is not strong enough for us to conclude that there was any meaningful effect (i.e., that the effect was different from zero).”
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.