At CSGV, we have consistently advocated for renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. This policy prohibited the manufacture, transfer, and possession of these weapons of war. It is time to implement this commonsense policy once again.
Assault weapons are designed to maximize lethality; they are intended to kill as many humans as possible as quickly as possible. It should come as no surprise that perpetrators of mass shootings often use these types of weapons. Assault weapons and the high-capacity magazines that accompany them should not be readily available to those who intend to do harm.
For years, an overwhelming majority of Americans has recognized that assault weapons have no place in our communities or on our streets. Law enforcement groups agree. Yet, despite this stable, widely shared view, military-style weapons remain legal and easy to buy, often no questions asked.
Federal law should prohibit purchase and possession of any firearm with the military features that make assault weapons so dangerous. There are three key features that distinguish whether a firearm is an assault weapon: 1) the firearm is semiautomatic (meaning you do not need to reload after each shot); 2) the firearm has the ability to accept a detachable magazine; and 3) the firearm has a pistol grip or a combination of features which enhance control such as a forward pistol grip and barrel shroud.
Despite federal legislative gridlock, CSGV will continue to advocate for renewal of assault weapons legislation and encourage states to adopt their own bans. In doing so, we strive to prevent the horrific acts of violence enabled by this type of firearm.
Fact Sheet: Assault Weapons Ban FAQ
Ed Fund Report: “Killing Machines”: The Case for Banning Assault Weapons
Ed Fund Report: President Ronald Reagan on the Assault Weapons Ban