Three Reasons Why Banning ‘Assault Weapons’ is a Terrible Idea

A ban won’t stop mass shootings, but it will hinder self-defense.

by Erik Nelson

The specter of a federal “assault weapons” ban is once again haunting the land. Here are three reasons why any such federal action is a terrible idea.

1. There is no agreed upon definition of “assault weapon.”

Politicians looking to enact stricter gun control laws have always struggled to define what exactly constitutes an “assault weapon.” It’s like the famous line about identifying pornography: “I know it when I see it.” Unfortunately, this feckless approach guided the drafting of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and is once again threatening the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

Consider these two versions of the Ruger Mini-14 from a technical perspective:

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