Assault Weapon Ban!

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1808, a rebooted federal “Assault Weapon Ban.” The bill barely made it through in a 217-213 vote with some defections on each side. Not as extreme as some bans passed in a couple of states, it grandfathers guns already in possession but halts the sale, importation, and manufacture of new ones. Still, it is much more restrictive when it comes to guns as it only allows one “assault” feature such as a pistol grip or folding stock whereas the ’94 ban allowed two.

Further, instead of the standard 10-round magazine cap seen with such bans, it has a 15-round cap, so that latter guideline is a kinder, gentler ban than the one adopted by the federal government in 1994 (and expired in 2004).To borrow a mantra from Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic.” The bill is seen as dead on arrival in the Senate– although that could change– and as primarily a nonsense vote that allows the lawmakers who voted in favor of it to flex their “tough on guns” creds to their constituents heading into the mid-term elections in November.

As a rule, because every representative must stand for election every two years, the lower chamber of Congress is always seen as having more chest-thumping, regardless of whether they accomplished anything.

Still, it probably won’t hurt to stock up on 30-round magazines or grab another AR if you get a good price on one.

By Michael Crites

Michael Crites is el jefe around here. He has spent more than 30 years shooting, learning about guns, and collecting firearms old and new. He holds his Oregon Concealed Handgun License, and enjoys testing products in the back 40 of his farm.

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