Efforts to Renew the Ban Assault Weapons


On March 2, 2004, with the ‘sunset’ of the ban on the horizon, assault weapon ban supporter Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) attached a ten-year extension to the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban to the Senate’s Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. With the Feinstein amendment, the bill was voted down 8-90.

Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007.

In February 2007 a bill, H.R. 1022, called the Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007 sponsored by Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York (D) was introduced that would reinstitute and expand the ban on assault weapons. It reduces the number of requirements for a firearm to be classified as an assault weapon from two to one. It additionally includes, in H.R. 1022 Section L, the expansion of the legal term assault weapon to any:


Assault weapons bans in other states

Assault Weapons

In addition to New York (see above), Massachusetts and New Jersey, have enacted similar bans. Cook County of Illinois has also enacted a similar, but more restrictive ban. California enacted one of the first bans on semi-automatic rifles in 1989, adding stricter measures to the law several times since. Connecticut has enacted a partial ban.

Lack of Effect on crime

It was also noted that should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence would likely be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement due to assault weapons rarely being used in gun crimes even before the ban. It should also be noted that the United States Department of Justice has not clarified as to whether or not the “assault weapons” used in violent crime were semi-automatic or automatic weapons, and what percentage of semi-automatic (“assault weapons” under legal definition) were used in violent crimes.