Assault Weapons Ban of 2013: Official Summary

Senator Feinstein Assault Weapon Ban 2013

FYI, official notice from Senator Feinstein, et al…

Liberals Unite

Mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson have demonstrated all too clearly the need to regulate military-style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. These weapons allow a gunman to fire a large number of rounds quickly and without having to reload.

What the bill does:

The legislation bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of:

  • All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.
  • All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
  • All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
  • All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
  • All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
  • 157 specifically-named firearms (listed at the end of this page).

The legislation excludes the following weapons from the bill:

  • Any weapon that is lawfully possessed at the date of the bill’s enactment;
  • Any firearm manually operated by a bolt, pump, lever or slide action;
  • Assault weapons used by military, law enforcement, and retired law enforcement; and
  • Antique weapons.

The legislation protects hunting and sporting firearms:

  • The bill excludes 2,258 legitimate hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns by specific make and model.

The legislation strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and state bans by:

  • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test.
    • The bill also makes the ban harder to evade by eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors from the characteristics test.
  • Banning dangerous aftermarket modifications and workarounds.
    • Bump or slide fire stocks, which are modified stocks that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire at rates similar to fully automatic machine guns.
    • So-called “bullet buttons” that allow the rapid replacement of ammunition magazines, frequently used as a workaround to prohibitions on detachable magazines.
    • Thumbhole stocks, a type of stock that was created as a workaround to avoid prohibitions on pistol grips.
  • Adding a ban on the importation of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
  • Eliminating the 10-year sunset that allowed the original federal ban to expire.

The legislation addresses the millions of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines currently in existence by:

  • Requiring a background check on all sales or transfers of a grandfathered assault weapon.
    • This background check can be run through the FBI or, if a state chooses, initiated with a state agency, as with the existing background check system.
  • Prohibiting the sale or transfer of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed on the date of enactment of the bill.
  • Allowing states and localities to use federal Byrne JAG grant funds to conduct a voluntary buy-back program for grandfathered assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices.
  • Imposing a safe storage requirement for grandfathered firearms, to keep them away from prohibited persons.
  • Requiring that assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices manufactured after the date of the bill’s enactment be engraved with the serial number and date of manufacture of the weapon

Assault weapon bans have been proven to be effective

The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was effective at reducing crime and getting these military-style weapons off our streets. Since the ban expired, more than 350 people have been killed and more than 450 injured by these weapons.

  • A Justice Department study of the assault weapons ban found that it was responsible for a 6.7% decrease in total gun murders, holding all other factors equal.
    • Source: Jeffrey A. Roth & Christopher S. Koper, “Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994,” (March 1997).
  • The same study also found that “Assault weapons are disproportionately involved in murders with multiple victims, multiple wounds per victim, and police officers as victims.”
  • The use of assault weapons in crime declined by more than two-thirds by about nine years after 1994 Assault Weapons Ban took effect.
    • Source: Christopher S. Koper, “An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003” (June 2004), University of Pennsylvania, Report to the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The percentage of firearms seized by police in Virginia that had high-capacity magazines dropped significantly during the ban. That figure has doubled since the ban expired.
  • When Maryland imposed a more stringent ban on assault pistols and high-capacity magazines in 1994, it led to a 55% drop in assault pistols recovered by the Baltimore Police Department.
    • Source: Douglas S. Weil & Rebecca C. Knox, Letter to the Editor, The Maryland Ban on the Sale of Assault Pistols and High-Capacity Magazines: Estimating the Impact in Baltimore, 87 Am. J. of Public Health 2, Feb. 1997.
  • 37% of police departments reported seeing a noticeable increase in criminals’ use of assault weapons since the 1994 federal ban expired.
    • Source: Police Executive Research Forum, Guns and Crime: Breaking New Ground by Focusing on the Local Impact (May 2010).

List of firearms prohibited by name

(See bottom of the article for list of banned weapons)

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