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house Bill H.R. 4269

Should Assault Weapons Be Banned?

Argument in favor

Under current law, it is far too easy for criminals to access assault rifles. Nobody in the U.S., besides authorized personnel, should be able to own them, because the danger they pose is unreasonable.

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02/25/2016
"Instead of people yelling at each other, we have got to come together on commonsense approaches which, in fact, the vast majority of the American people support… to ban semi-automatic assault weapons, guns which have no other purpose but to kill people." [huffingtonpost.com]
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BarackObama's Opinion
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02/25/2016
"The government should make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino." [reason.com]
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Alis's Opinion
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01/23/2016
For the sake of reason, ban them! There is no reason for any civilian to have an assault weapon! If you are worried about self defense & think an assault weapon is the answer, it's time for you to move to Somalia! Only in a failed state does this make sense!
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Argument opposed

This ban would do nothing to prevent criminals from accessing assault rifles. It only burdens law abiding gun owners who use their weapons for perfectly legal activities.

Kent's Opinion
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01/07/2016
This will have no impact on preventing mass shootings by criminals and mentally ill. They will acquire the banned weapon from the black market or simply use a legal one. It will only prevent law abiding citizens from protecting themselves from these threats.
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AndrewGVN's Opinion
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01/20/2016
This practice of banning assault rifle weapons will not work in terms of trying to reduce mass shootings, etc. First off, a mass murder can still be done with a pistol, knife, etc. Secondly, if a person that is mentally ill really wants an assault rifle, they will do crazy things to get access to one (aka illegally buying one.) I'm in total support of background checks for gun purchases, but an all out ban on assault rifle weapons will not really do as much as the people sponsoring this bill think it will.
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LibertyForAll's Opinion
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02/07/2016
The founding fathers didn't give us the "right to bear arms" because the "deer" were coming.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedDecember 16th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 4269?

This bill would reinstate a Bill Clinton-era ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004. Specifically, it would prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of assault weapons. 

This bill defines assault weapons as:

  • Any semi-automatic rifle or handgun that has both:

    • a detachable magazine that allows the shooter to snap on a new, fully loaded magazine instead of reloading bullet-by-bullet;
    • anything from list of “military-style features” like pistol grips or barrel shrouds.
  • Semi-automatic shotguns with any “military-style features”;
  • Semi-automatic rifles and handguns with a fixed (not easily detachable) magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds;

  • Any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds.

Semi-automatic firearms self-eject the used cartridge after firing and load a new cartridge — so all the shooter has to do to fire again is pull the trigger. This bill also names 157 specific firearms that would be prohibited.

The ban would not apply to firearms that are already owned or on the market. It also excludes guns owned by military, law enforcement, and retired law enforcement.

The so-called “Charleston Loophole,” would be closed. The loophole is named for the quirk of law that allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the weapon used in his 2015 mass shooting at a church in Charlston, South Carolina. Currently, if an FBI background check on a potential gun buyer is not completed within three days, the dealer is permitted to go ahead with the sale. 

The Assault Weapons Ban would extend the FBI background check waiting period from three to 14 days for resales of assault weapons that are already on the market. The FBI would be required to notify law enforcement if an employee of the agency realizes a gun has been sold to a prohibited individual after the 14-day window.

Impact

People who plan to buy assault weapons in the future, the public whose sense of security is affected, makers and sellers of firearms

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4269

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Assault weapons are used in a very small percentage of gun crimes. However, they were used in several high-profile mass shootings in recent years — including the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in June 2016. Targeting a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing at least 50 people and injuring another 53. Other mass shootings involving assault rifles include ones at the Department of Public Health in San Bernardino, CA; a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut; a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado; and a community college near Roseburg, Oregon.


Of Note: This legislation is a reauthorization of a 1994 assault weapon ban, which expired in 2004. Members of congress — including the author of the 1994 bill, Sen. Dianne Feinstein — have unsuccessfully attempted to reauthorize the bill several times.


Media:

Summary by: Katie Rose Quandt

(Photo Credit: Adaptation of an image from Flickr user Paul Keller

AKA

Assault Weapons Ban of 2015

Official Title

To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.

    "Instead of people yelling at each other, we have got to come together on commonsense approaches which, in fact, the vast majority of the American people support… to ban semi-automatic assault weapons, guns which have no other purpose but to kill people." [huffingtonpost.com]
    Like (506)
    Follow
    Share
    This will have no impact on preventing mass shootings by criminals and mentally ill. They will acquire the banned weapon from the black market or simply use a legal one. It will only prevent law abiding citizens from protecting themselves from these threats.
    Like (224)
    Follow
    Share
    "The government should make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino." [reason.com]
    Like (216)
    Follow
    Share
    For the sake of reason, ban them! There is no reason for any civilian to have an assault weapon! If you are worried about self defense & think an assault weapon is the answer, it's time for you to move to Somalia! Only in a failed state does this make sense!
    Like (135)
    Follow
    Share
    This practice of banning assault rifle weapons will not work in terms of trying to reduce mass shootings, etc. First off, a mass murder can still be done with a pistol, knife, etc. Secondly, if a person that is mentally ill really wants an assault rifle, they will do crazy things to get access to one (aka illegally buying one.) I'm in total support of background checks for gun purchases, but an all out ban on assault rifle weapons will not really do as much as the people sponsoring this bill think it will.
    Like (103)
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    Share
    The founding fathers didn't give us the "right to bear arms" because the "deer" were coming.
    Like (90)
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    Shall not be infringed. Legal gun owners have too many restrictions and hoops to jump through as is.
    Like (78)
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    There is absolutely no need for anyone outside of the military to have these types of weapons.
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    I don't know if the left knows that criminals do not follow the law. This will not stop criminals, but will rather make normal, good people defenseless. It's our right to have these weapons, and just because Europe does it doesn't mean it's right.
    Like (45)
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    I'm curious why so many swallow the gun lobby rhetoric and are so fearful of losing one small class of weaponry. It serves no useful purpose.
    Like (43)
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    Semiautomatic weapons have been around since the early 1900's, only the military and law enforcement have automatic weapons. Mass shootings for the majority occurs in gun free zones and in cases where law abiding citizens are armed crime is lower. In many places in this country law enforcement struggles for funding and response times are high in some cases, you must be able to defend yourself. The 2nd amendment has kept the American people free from a tyrannical government.
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    The second amendment was created for a specific reason, to ensure that the people had the freedom to rebel against the government. This freedom came from Lockian principles and it stands true today, or rather it should stand true.
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    These are not "ASSAULT WEAPONS", what you are referring to is already been banned, it is all ready illegal to own an "assault weapon" which by definition is actually an AUTOMATIC rifle. Realistically guns such as the semi-automatic AR-15 are no different than hunting weapons and handguns. Magazines can be obtained to make both hold just as much ammunition as an AR-15 holds, so banning these weapons would not accomplish anything. Oh and just to add to that, AR in AR-15 does not stand for Assault Rifle, it stands for Armalite Rifle
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    No one needs an AK-47 for deer hunting. Those weapons are designed for warfare.
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    Absolutely!! It is asinine that anyone opposes this. The only purpose for assault rifles is to kill people faster. The only reason they are on the street now is to kill people. The only reason anyone wants to oppose banning them is obvious.
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    Great opinion by Countable member "TheGeneral": "Banning assault style weapons will do absolutely NOTHING to keep these types of weapons out of the hands of criminals and drug traffickers as these people don't buy through legal channels anyway. This ban will only hurt law abiding citizens who have a RIGHT to own them. Besides that, ANY weapon is an 'assault' weapon if it's used to assault someone. Blaming an inanimate object for the evil intentions of its user is just plain stupid. Timothy McVey used FERTILIZER to kill 182 people yet you didn't hear anyone calling for a ban on fertilizer. Common sense has flown the coop on this one."
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    Its not a sporting firearm nor is it a self defense one. Unless you're a mobster or a third world warlord, if you really believe you need an AK-47 to defend yourself from some unknown enemy coming to get you, then you're delusional and shouldn't have access to firearms period! If you are in a profession that calls for you to carry one in performance of your duties then so be it. If not your just living out a "Call of Duty" fantasy, and putting other real people in danger while you indulge your inner child.
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    Most "assault weapons" are a knee jerk reaction, based on what it looks like. The "black Weapon or rifle" are just that rifles that happen to be black. It all boils down to the liberal progressives attempt to disarm the people and deny them a self defense option. Ithese weapons are a way for the people to keep the over zealous Federal government from trampling our civil rights. So NoBANS ON ASSAULT WEAPONS OR FIREARMS OF ANY KIND.
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    Nobody needs assault rifles. I am not concerned about burdening law abiding citizens if there is potential for saving lives. Other types of guns are enough for law abiding citizens. The crap excuse about criminals will still get them is a weak, bullshit excuse. If they even possess them, they are breaking the law and might be arrested before they have a chance to use it. Also, making it more difficult for them too, so that's a good thing.
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    This will do nothing to prevent or reverse gun violence or crimes committed with firearms. At the end of the day, this is an infringement of the Bill of Rights. Period.
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