The House Judiciary Committee will be proposing legislation next week that would ban certain “assault weapons,” according to an announcement on Friday.
The committee will meet next Wednesday, July 20, to debate the bill that “would ban the sale, import, manufacture or transfer of certain semi-automatic weapons,” the panel said.
Should the committee pass the bill, House Democratic leaders would likely bring it to a floor for a full vote, which would likely pass as Democrats control the chamber, and would send it to the Senate, where it would need to garner 10 votes from Republican senators. The Senate, currently split 50-50, would likely stop the bill due to the filibuster.
The bill would allow the sale of weapons that are already privately owned and wouldn’t apply to antique, manually operated or certain hunting and sporting firearms, the House panel stated.
The text of the bill states that it would ban at least 40 specific AR-15-style rifles, including the “Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Chiappa Firearms MFour rifles, Colt Match Target rifles, CORE Rifle Systems CORE15 rifles, Daniel Defense M4A1 rifles, Devil Dog Arms 15 Series rifles” and more.
The measure would also ban certain AR-style pistols such as the “DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol, DPMS AR–15 pistol, Jesse James Nomad AR–15 pistol, Olympic Arms AR–15 pistol, Osprey Armament MK–18 pistol, POF USA AR pistols, Rock River Arms LAR 15 pisto” and others, according to the bill’s text.
However, previous bans on “assault weapons” have shown little to no effectiveness in reducing gun crime. A 1994 ban was studied prior to its expiry in 2004. The National Institute of Justice concluded that “We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”
“It is thus premature to make definitive assessments of the ban’s impact on gun violence. Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,” the report added.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that at least 20 million AR style rifles and pistols are privately owned. Mark Oliva, spokesperson for the Foundation, said that many individuals purchase these style rifles due to their versatility and size. He also said that many recent purchases are for the sake of personal safety.
“As we did surveys of our retailers to find out who exactly was buying firearms or why they were buying firearms, the number one reason that came back from all these purchasers in 2020 and going into 2021 was that they were buying firearms for concerns to their personal safety,” Oliva said.