What is the Assault Weapons Ban?
Posted at 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 17, 2012
Brad Plumer has a crucial summary of the major provisions and loopholes in the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. The post is a must-read as the nation enters a renewed debate on preventing gun violence.
“The trouble all starts here. There’s no technical definition of an ‘assault weapon.’… Complicated flow charts laid it all out… And its complexity made it easy to evade.”
“For the 10 years that the ban was in effect, it was illegal to manufacture the assault weapons described above for use by private citizens. The law also set a limit on high-capacity magazines — these could now carry no more than 10 bullets.”
“Even after the ban took effect, it was not difficult for someone to get their hands on an assault weapon or high-capacity magazine… For starters, only 18 firearm models were explicitly banned. But it was easy for gun manufacturers to modify weapons slightly so that they didn’t fall under the ban… Meanwhile, here were already more than 24 million large-capacity magazines in existence before the federal ban took effect in 1994.”