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An Assault rifle is an intermediate-range, magazine-fed rifle that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire, or a rifle that resembles an assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire.
- The best way to address the firepower concern is therefore not to try to outlaw or license many millions of older and perfectly legitimate firearms (which would be a licensing effort of staggering proportions) but to prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines. By a simple, complete and unequivocal ban on large capacity magazines, all the difficulty of defining 'assault rifle' and 'semi-automatic rifles' is eliminated. The large capacity magazine itself, separate or attached to the firearm, becomes the prohibited item. A single amendment to Federal firearms laws could effectively implement these objectives.
- Yesterday Connecticut gunmaker Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced an “Inaugural Special“ for high-capacity ammunition magazines for its Mini-14 rifles, a weapon nicknamed the “poor man’s assault rifle.” According to Ruger:
From November 4, 2008 to January 20, 2009, fans of the Ruger Mini-14 Target Rifles and Mini-14 Ranch Rifles, both chambered for .223 Remington, can purchase Ruger manufactured 20-round magazines (regularly priced at $39.95) for only $29.95. This special offer is only available through the Ruger On-line Store. Please note that these magazines are not available where state or local regulations limit magazine capacity to less than 20 rounds.
- Over the past few years the gun industry has become increasingly dominated by manufacturers selling only AK-47 and AR-15 type assault rifles (newly christened “black rifles” by gunmakers to make them a little more cuddly and a little less killy), new high-powered handguns ranging from revolvers with the penetration power of rifles to AK-47 pistols, to anti-armor 50 caliber sniper rifles. Don’t believe me? Pick up a copy of Shotgun News and compare the number of gun ads for “traditional” hunting rifles (a handful) to those for assault rifles (all the rest). Military-style weapons are the guns that are flying off the shelves and into the homes of people frightened about the “change” that an Obama Administration represents.
- Holmes’s use of Smith & Wesson’s M&P15 assault rifle demonstrates the clear and present danger of a gun designed for war and ruthlessly marketed for profit to civilians.
- Understanding the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Semiautomatic Assault Rifle Used in the Aurora, Colorado Mass Murder. Violence Policy Center (July 2012). Retrieved on October 5, 2018.
- The Bushmaster is a variant of a type of gun called the AR-15 ... which was designed and developed for military use roughly during the Vietnam War period. It is one of a variety of assault rifles that militaries of the world developed when they realized that most soldiers do not — when they're engaged in combat — do not take accurate aim, do not fire at long distances, but rather just spray bullets in the general direction of the enemy at short to medium range. When the military accepted this as a fact — that soldiers are not marksmen, and they tend to just fire in bursts at ambiguous targets, and in fact most battlefield injuries are the result of just being where the bullet is and not someone actually aiming at you — the militaries of the world said, 'OK, we need a type of gun to give our soldiers that will do just that.' ... This was the genesis of the assault rifle. The first one was developed by the Germans in 1944. It was called the StG-44. The Soviet army quickly ... made a design similar to it, which is called the AK-47, probably the most widely used rifle in the world.
- What the gun industry has done is sort of appeal to the inner soldier, the insurrectionist feelings and high-tech desires to market these military-style guns. Now, they don't call them assault rifles. They have a couple of terms they use. They call them tactical rifles. They call them modern sporting rifles. I personally don't care what you call them; they are basically assault rifles, and their purpose is to kill people.
- 'Assault rifle' accurately describe guns that are designed for offensive assaults on large numbers of human beings that are not useful or necessary for legitimate sport or self-defense.
- Assault weapons were designed for and should be used on our battlefields, not on our streets. There is no inalienable right to own and operate 100-round clips on [[AR-15 style rifle|AR-15 assault rifles.
- Every senator will get a say on whether or not we should keep weapons of war and high-capacity ammunition magazines that facilitate mass killings off our streets. The type of assault rifle used in Aurora, for example, when paired with a high-capacity magazine, has one purpose: to pump out as many bullets as possible, as fast as possible. It’s what allowed that gunman to shoot 70 people and kill 12 in a matter of a few minutes. I don’t believe that weapons designed for theaters of war have a place in movie theaters. Most Americans agree with that.
- Those design features in a civilian market have horrific consequences. So you can call it whatever you want — tactical rifle, black rifle, assault rifle, modern sporting rifle. It has the capability that the military wanted for warfare...It's just a fact that hunting has been in serious decline, so those kinds of guns just don't sell as well. Well, you're in business, you got to sell something. These assault rifles — these military-style rifles — appeal to a broader range of people.
- It's just a fact that hunting has been in serious decline, so those kinds of guns just don't sell as well. Well, you're in business, you got to sell something. These assault rifles — these military-style rifles — appeal to a broader range of people.
- Plenty of Americans see no purpose for the assault rifle.
- Boyle, John (December 3, 2014). "Military-style AR-15 rifles: 'The market is saturated'". USA Today. Retrieved on October 20, 2018.
- What do James Holmes, Adam Lanza, and Omar Mateen have in common? Besides being the perpetrators of three of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, they all share a preference for the AR-15 assault rifle. The AR-15 assault rifle was used at the Aurora, Colo. shooting, the Newtown, Conn. shooting, and now the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. that killed 50 and is officially the deadliest such massacre in U.S. history...While Colt alone makes the official AR-15, variants and knock-offs are made by a huge number of gun manufactures, including Bushmaster, Les Baer, Remington, Smith & Wesson (swhc, +0.00%), and Sturm & Ruger (rgr, -2.04%), just to name a few. TacticalRetailer claims that from 2000 to 2015 the AR manufacturing sector expanded from 29 AR makers to about 500, “a stunning 1,700% increase.”
- O’Dea, Meghan (June 13, 2016). "What Makes the AR-15 So Appealing to Mass Shooters?". Fortune. Retrieved on October 19, 2018.
- And maybe as a result we learned that “assault rifle” should refer to a fully automatic gun that sprays many rounds with one trigger squeeze, while the semiautomatic variations (like that Sig Sauer) discharge one shot per trigger pull; or that this distinction separates guns designed for military use from those typically available to civilians; or that a term such as “AR-15-style” often refers more to a gun’s appearance than any precisely agreed-upon set of specific technical features.
- I’d also like to, I may get in trouble with other members of the committee, just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semiautomatic assault rifle like an AR-15.
- Dean Winslow, American physician, professor of medicine at Stanford University, retired United States Air Force colonel, on November 7, 2017 in his confirmation hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services (O’Brien, Conner (November 7, 2017). "Pentagon health nominee: It's 'insane' civilians can purchase assault weapons". Politico. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. ; Cohen, Zachary (November 7, 2017). "Trump DoD nominee: 'Insane' that civilians can buy assault rifles". CNN. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. ; McLaughlin, Elizabeth (November 7, 2017). "Top Trump Pentagon nominee: It's 'insane' that civilians can buy semiautomatic assault rifles". ABC News. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. ; Fallows, James (November 12, 2017). "More on the Military and Civilian History of the AR-15". The Atlantic. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. ; Winslow, Dean (December 20, 2017). "I spoke my mind on guns. Then my Senate confirmation was put on hold". The Washington Post. Retrieved on August 29, 2018. ).
- It’s important to understand how we got where we are today. In 1966, the unthinkable happened: a madman climbed the University of Texas clock tower and opened fire, killing more than a dozen people. It was the first mass shooting in the age of television, and it left a real impression on the country. It was the kind of terror we didn’t expect to ever see again. But around 30 years ago, we started to see an uptick in these types of shootings, and over the last decade they’ve become the new norm.
In July 2012, a gunman walked into a darkened theater in Aurora and shot 12 people to death, injuring 70 more. One of his weapons was an assault rifle. The sudden and utterly random violence was a terrifying sign of what was to come.
In December 2012, a young man entered an elementary school in Newtown and murdered six educators and 20 young children. One of his weapons was an assault rifle. Watching the aftermath of these young babies being gunned down was heartrending.
In June 2016, a gunman entered a nightclub in Orlando and sprayed revelers with gunfire. The shooter fired hundreds of rounds, many in close proximity, and killed 49. Many of the victims were shot in the head at close range. One of his weapons was an assault rifle.
Last month, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas, turning an evening of music into a killing field. All told, the shooter used multiple assault rifles fitted with bump-fire stocks to kill 58 people. The concert venue looked like a warzone.
Over the weekend in Sutherland Springs, 26 were killed by a gunman with an assault rifle. The dead ranged from 17 months old to 77 years. No one is spared with these weapons of war. When so many rounds are fired so quickly, no one is spared. Another community devastated and dozens of families left to pick up the pieces.
These are just a few of the many communities we talk about in hushed tones—San Bernardino, Littleton, Aurora, towns and cities across the country that have been permanently scarred.
- Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, on the introduction of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017, a bill to ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines ( (November 8, 2017). Senators Introduce Assault Weapons Ban. Press release.).
- This country has no monopoly on troubled young men. We have no monopoly on hate groups. We aren’t the only place where people miss signs of danger in troubled young men. What distinguishes the United States from the developed world is our open market in the weaponry of war — in weapons whose chief purpose and selling point is their obscene ability to kill as many people as possible in the shortest burst of time.
Is it any surprise that the weapon used in this week’s carnage was the same style of semiautomatic assault rifle that was used with deadly efficiency at a concert in Las Vegas, a Texas church, an Orlando nightclub, a Connecticut elementary school? These weapons designed for combat, accompanied by multiple ammunition magazines, have become the weapons of choice for mass shooters. It is time for a national ban on their sale and possession. Now, before the next set of parents face the unimaginable agony of the phone call that never gets answered.
- The AR-15, the civilian version of the military assault rifle (M16 or M4), has become the most commonly used rifle in US mass shootings; the recent shootings in Parkland and Las Vegas, for instance, testify to the effectiveness of this weapon’s design. It was made for the military, to allow members of the armed forces to better dispatch multiple enemies in short order; in the hands of civilians, it not only clearly serves the same purpose for some individuals, but it’s unclear what other purpose it could serve, given how and why it was made.
- Dr. Ernest E. Moore, trauma surgeon, editor of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery (Moore, Ernest E. (February 15, 2018). "The Parkland shooter's AR-15 was designed to kill as efficiently as possible". NBC News. Retrieved on August 25, 2018. ).
- Following news reports that the AR-15 style rifle used in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was a Smith & Wesson M&P15 assault rifle, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) today released Understanding the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Semiautomatic Assault Rifle.
According to the VPC backgrounder, “The Smith & Wesson M&P15 assault rifle demonstrates the clear and present danger of a gun designed for war and ruthlessly marketed for profit to civilians.”
The same model assault rifle was also used in an attack that left 12 dead at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012 and in a mass shooting at a community center in San Bernardino, California in 2015 that left 14 dead.
- Backgrounder on Smith & Wesson M&P15 Assault Rifle Used in Mass Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Violence Policy Center (February 16, 2018). Retrieved on November 12, 2018.; "About the Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle used in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School". The Wisconsin Gazette. February 17, 2018. Retrieved on November 12, 2018.
- Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school. We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.
- We at Dick's Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones. But thoughts and prayers are not enough...We believe it's time to do something about it. Beginning today, Dick's Sporting Goods is committed to the following:
We will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all Dick's stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.
We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.
We will no longer sell high capacity magazines.
We never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.
At the same time, we implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations:
Ban assault-style firearms
Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21
Ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks
Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law
Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms
Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks
- Edward W. Stack, chairman and chief executive officer of Dick's Sporting Goods ("Here's what Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack wrote about his company's actions". USA Today. Associated Press. February 28, 2018. Retrieved on September 4, 2018. ; Frankel, Todd C.; Bhattarai, Abha; Siegel, Rachel (February 28, 2018). "Dick’s Sporting Goods joins chorus for gun control, stops selling assault-style rifles". The Washington Post. Retrieved on September 4, 2018. ; Dick's Sporting Goods (February 28, 2018). Media Statements. Press release.; Creswell, Julie; Corkery, Michael (February 28, 2018). "Walmart and Dick’s Raise Minimum Age for Gun Buyers to 21". The New York Times. Retrieved on September 4, 2018. ; Kimble, Lindsay; Petit, Stephanie (February 28, 2018). "Dick's Sporting Goods Will Stop Selling Assault-Style Rifles: 'Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough'". People. Retrieved on September 4, 2018. ).
- The distinctive “look” of assault weapons is not cosmetic. It is the visual result of specific functional design decisions. Military assault weapons were designed and developed for a specific military purpose — laying down a high volume of fire over a wide killing zone, also known as “hosing down” an area. The most significant assault weapon functional design features are:
(1) ability to accept a high-capacity ammunition magazine,
(2) a rear pistol or thumb-hole grip, and,
(3) a forward grip or barrel shroud.
Taken together, these are the design features that make possible the deadly and indiscriminate “spray-firing” for which assault weapons are designed. None of them are features of true hunting or sporting guns. Civilian semiautomatic assault weapons incorporate all of the functional design features that make assault weapons so deadly. They are arguably more deadly than military versions, because most experts agree that semiautomatic fire is more accurate than automatic fire. Although the gun lobby today argues that there is no such thing as civilian assault weapons, the industry, the National Rifle Association, and gun magazines enthusiastically described these civilian versions as “assault rifles,” “assault pistols,” and “military assault” weapons to boost civilian sales throughout the 1980s. The industry and its allies only began to use the semantic argument that a “true” assault weapon is a machine gun after civilian assault weapons turned up in large numbers in the hands of drug traffickers, criminal gangs, mass murderers, and other dangerous criminals.
- Understanding the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Semiautomatic Assault Rifle. Violence Policy Center (February 2018). Retrieved on October 5, 2018.
- Compared with pistols, assault rifles are used rarely in shootings. According to F.B.I. statistics, 374 people were murdered with any kind of rifle in 2016; 7,105 were killed by a handgun.
But the AR-15 has been a recurring character in some of America’s most infamous violent crimes. Adam Lanza used his to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook. Stephen Paddock used an enhanced AR-style gun to kill 58 concertgoers and wound hundreds on the Las Vegas Strip in October. A month later, Devin Kelley murdered 26 congregants with a Ruger AR-15 variant at a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex. And the rampage last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., renewed calls for assault-style rifles to be banned — a common refrain after mass shootings.
- Watkins, Ali; Ismay, John; Gibbons-Neff, Thomas (March 3, 2018). "Once Banned, Now Loved and Loathed: How the AR-15 Became ‘America’s Rifle’". The New York Times. Retrieved on November 6, 2018.
- Results suggest assault weapons (primarily assault-type rifles) account for 2–12% of guns used in crime in general (most estimates suggest less than 7%) and 13–16% of guns used in murders of police. Assault weapons and other high-capacity semiautomatics together generally account for 22 to 36% of crime guns, with some estimates upwards of 40% for cases involving serious violence including murders of police. Assault weapons and other high-capacity semiautomatics appear to be used in a higher share of firearm mass murders (up to 57% in total), though data on this issue are very limited. Trend analyses also indicate that high-capacity semiautomatics have grown from 33 to 112% as a share of crime guns since the expiration of the federal ban—a trend that has coincided with recent growth in shootings nationwide....
AW [assault weapon] laws also commonly include restrictions on large-capacity magazines (LCMs), which are typically defined as ammunition feeding devices holding more than ten rounds of ammunition (some laws have higher limits). LCM restrictions are arguably the most important components of AW laws in that they also apply to the larger class of high-capacity semiautomatic firearms without military-style features. In the broadest sense, AW-LCM laws are thus intended tor educe gunshot victimizations by limiting the stock of semiautomatic firearms with large ammunition capacities and other features conducive to criminal use....
Importantly, trend analyses suggest that LCM firearms have grown substantially as a share of crime guns since the expiration of the federal ban on AWs and LCMs.
- Koper, CS; Johnson, WD; Nichols, JL; Ayers, A; Mullins, N (June 2018). "Criminal Use of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Semiautomatic Firearms: an Updated Examination of Local and National Sources.". Journal of Urban Health: bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine 95 (3): pp. 313-321. doi:10.1007/s11524-017-0205-7. PMID 28971349.
- What was the gunman armed with? Bowers was armed with a Colt AR-15 SP1 assault rifle and three Glock .357 SIG-caliber semi-automatic handguns, authorities said at a press conference Sunday. Authorities said all four weapons were fired during the shooting. He was injured in confrontation with officers and transported to a local hospital, where an official at the press conference said he was in fair condition.
- Vesoulis, Abby (October 27, 2018). "What to Know About Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Suspect Robert Bowers". Time. Retrieved on October 29, 2018.
- The federal complaint said Bowers was armed with three Glock .357 handguns and a Colt AR-15 assault rifle during the attack. The weapons were not from Pennsylvania and were shipped into the state, it said.
- Hughes, Clyde; Adamczyk, Ed; Haynes, Danielle; Uria, Daniel (October 29, 2018). "Accused Pittsburgh gunman appears in court, will be held without bail". United Press International. Retrieved on November 8, 2018.
- The man accused of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Robert Bowers, legally purchased the guns he used to kill 11 people in what is believed to be the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in the United States, according to the federal authorities.
Officials have said Mr. Bowers used four guns — an AR-15 assault rifle and three Glock .357 handguns — in his shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning.
An investigation has concluded that the guns were “acquired and possessed legally by Bowers,” the Philadelphia office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Tuesday.
Mr. Bowers did not fall into any category barred from gun ownership under federal law, including felons, convicted domestic abusers, dishonorably discharged veterans, or people adjudicated to be mentally ill or subject to certain restraining orders.
- Oppel Jr., Richard A. (October 30, 2018). "Synagogue Suspect’s Guns Were All Purchased Legally, Inquiry Finds". The New York Times. Retrieved on November 2, 2018.
- Mass-shooting related homicides in the United States were reduced during the years of the federal assault weapons ban of 1994 to 2004....
Recently, 75% of members of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma endorsed restrictions to “civilian access to assault rifles (magazine fed, semiautomatic, i.e., AR-15),” and 76% of the Board of Governors were in favor of a limit to “… civilian access to ammunition designed for military or law enforcement use (that is, armor piercing, large magazine capacity).” In 2015, the American College of Surgeons joined seven of the largest most prestigious professional health organizations in the United States and the American Bar Association to call for “restricting the manufacture and sale of military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for civilian use.” This analysis adds evidence to support these recommendations....
Our results add to the documentation that mass shooting–related homicides are indeed increasing, most rapidly in the postban period, and that these incidents are frequently associated with weapons characterized as assault rifles by the language of the 1994 AWB.
...taken in the context of the increase in mass shootings in the United States, these results support the conclusion that the federal AWB of 1994 to 2004 was effective in reducing mass shooting–related homicides in the United States, and we believe our results support a re-institution of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban as a way to prevent and control mass shooting fatalities in the United States.
- DiMaggio, C; Avraham, J; Berry, C; Bukur, M; Feldman, J; Klein, M; Shah, N; Tandon, M; et al. (January 2019). "Changes in US mass shooting deaths associated with the 1994-2004 federal assault weapons ban: Analysis of open-source data.". The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 86 (1): pp. 11-19. doi:10.1097/TA.0000000000002060. PMID 30188421.
- The Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday passed gun-control legislation that bans some assault-style firearms and ammunition five months after a gunman opened fire inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue killing 11 people.
The council voted 6-3 to pass the legislation, which makes it illegal to load, brandish, display, discharge, point or use an assault weapon within city limits.
"We're pretty happy we've gone through the process, we've made changes listening to a number of people," councilman Corey O'Connor said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think the colleagues who stuck with us were very brave in doing so, and even the colleagues who voted against wanted to a gun conversation."
The legislation also allows courts to temporarily remove weapons from people who appear to pose an "extreme risk" to others or themselves. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who helped author the bill, is expected to sign it.
Authorities described one of the guns used in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting on Oct. 27 -- a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle -- as an assault rifle. The shooter also used three Clock .357 SIG semi-automatic pistols in the shooting that left 11 dead and six victims injured.
- Haynes, Danielle (April 2, 2019). "Pittsburgh passes bill restricting assault-style guns". United Press International.