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Assault Weapons Ban 2022: What You Need to Know

We walk you through the details of the 2022 attempted Assault Weapons Ban, tell you how it stacks up to the 1994 ban, and what it means for gun owners.

On the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on NYRPSA v. Bruen, the House of Representatives passed a bill attempting another Assault Weapons Ban.

What brought about this renewed passion for banning so-called “assault weapons?”

Grunt AR-15 with Romeo5 Red Dot
This would be a no-no under the bill if it actually was signed into law.

The 2022 AWB appeared as the result of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in 2022. It made its way to the floor of the House of Representatives and passed 217-213, almost completely along party lines.

Is this a big deal? Sort of. But don’t go grabbing that pitchfork just yet.

Pitchforks, Get Your Pitchforks

We’ve looked at the bill and will go over exactly what it covers, how we got here, and just how worked up you should be over this.

So, keep reading to learn more…

Disclaimer: While the information provided here is legal in nature, it is not to be construed as legal advice and is for educational and entertainment purposes only.

Table of Contents

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What is the Assault Weapons Ban?

The Assault Weapons Ban is a 2022 version of a similar assault weapons ban signed into law in 1994.

Like the 1994 AWB, the new bill will make it illegal to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a “semi-automatic assault weapon” or “large capacity ammunition feeding device.” 

But how are “assault weapons” defined? Well, I hope you’re sitting down because it’s quite a list…

As defined in the bill, an “assault weapon” includes:

  • A semi-automatic rifle that has a detachable magazine and one of a:
  • Pistol grip
  • Forward grip
  • Folding/telescoping/detachable stock
  • Grenade launcher
  • Barrel shroud; or
  • Threaded barrel
  • A semi-automatic rifle with a fixed ammunition feeding device that can accept more than 15 rounds

Rifles with attached tubular devices that can only accept and use .22 rimfire ammo are not included in this definition.

.22LR Round
.22 LR makes things okay…we hear.

A semi-automatic pistol that has a detachable magazine and one of the following:

  • Threaded barrel
  • Second pistol grip
  • Barrel shroud
  • Detachable magazine outside the pistol grip
  • Buffer tube, stabilizing brace, or similar device that protrudes horizontally behind the pistol grip
  • Semi-automatic version of an automatic firearm; or
  • Manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when unloaded
  • A semi-automatic pistol with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 15 rounds.

Any belt-fed semi-automatic firearms include the FN M2495.

Any combination of parts from the firearms described above and the frame or receiver of a rifle or shotgun or the previously described firearms.

Makes & Models Outlawed Under the Assault Weapons Ban

The bill also lists literal pages of rifles, pistols, and shotguns banning all “copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of the listed firearms.” 

Anyone interested in the entire list, feel free to check out the bill’s actual text for yourself.

Buckle in, because there’s a LOT to read.

For those of you with better things to do, we’ve included a couple of the more common types here just to give you a sense of what is banned under the bill:

Rifles

  • AK types, including
    • AK-47, AK-74, AKM
  • AR-type firearms, including
    • AR-10
    • AR-15
  • Daniel Defense M4A1 series
  • DPMS tactical rifles
  • Mossberg MMR tactical rifles
  • POF USA P415
  • Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles and MCX rifles
  • Smith and Wesson M&P15 rifles
  • Stag Arms AR rifles
  • FN FAL
  • Kel-Tec Sub-2000, SU-16, and RFB
  • Steyr AUG
  • All Thompson rifles
  • UZI Mini Carbine

Pistols

  • AK types, including
    • CZ Scorpion pistol
    • Mini Draco AK-47 pistol
  • AR types, including
  • Daniel Defense MK18 pistol
  • DPMS AR-15 pistol
  • POF USA AR pistol
  • Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol
  • All MAC types, including MAC-10 and MAC-11
  • Sig Sauer P556 pistol
  • All Thompson types
  • All UZI types

Shotguns

  • Al Izhmash Saiga 12 types
  • Streetsweeper
  • Striker 12

Large Capacity Magazines

The AWB didn’t forget about the magazine size restrictions either.  

It also bans any magazine, belt, drum, or strip that can accept or be converted to accept more than 15 rounds of ammo.

MTM AK Mags Box
Yep, these are out too.

Just like before, “tubular devices operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition” are exempted.

Are There Loopholes?

Fortunately, some exemptions under this bill do not have to do with .22 caliber ammo.

Firearms that don’t fall under the “assault weapon” definition include:

  • Any firearms that are manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action (except for shotguns)
  • Firearms only capable of firing rimfire ammo; and
  • Antique firearms.

There’s also a section on “grandfathered” firearms and “ammunition feeding devices.”

Faxon Firearms Ascent AR-15
If you already own it, your gun should be grandfathered in.

That isn’t actually a loophole but more or less a nod to the Constitution which prohibits ex post facto laws — that is, no laws can retroactively make something illegal that was legal before the law was passed.

In this case, if the AWB bill were to be signed into law, any firearms and magazines you already legally owned before the signing would continue to be legally owned. These guns could not retroactively be made illegal.

Form 4473 NICS and Shield

But it would be illegal to buy and own additional “assault weapons” and “large capacity” mags.   

1994 Assault Weapons Ban vs. 2022 Assault Weapons Ban

This latest bill from the House is almost identical to the AWB signed into law in 1994 by President Clinton.

Clinton signing the AR Ban
Former President Bill Clinton signed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban on September 13, 1994, but it’s true that former President George H.W. Bush’s administration got that one going back in 1989. (Photo: Politico)

There are a couple of changes this time around, though, and unfortunately, none of it is for the better.

The 1994 AWB also provided definitions very similar to the current bill, but instead of a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and one “evil” feature like the current bill requires, the law required two of the scary features to be present on the rifle for it to be considered illegal.

The same change was made to pistols and shotguns as well.

Rock Island Armory VR80 Fire
Rock Island Armory VR80…probably some “evil” features here.

This means that under this bill, even having one of the listed “evil” features would qualify a firearm as an “assault weapon.”  

What’s more, this current bill requires identification markings on all “assault weapons” and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” that are manufactured after the date the bill would go into effect.

This requirement wasn’t in the 1994 AWB, so it was sometimes difficult to determine if someone already owned the banned items or somehow managed to get their hands on them after the law went into effect.

Aero Precision Thunder Ranch TR15 AR Mags
AR-15 Mags

Most importantly, the 1994 AWB had a sunset provision that caused the law to automatically expire after 10 years.

That’s probably why you felt a wave of calm pass over you sometime in 2004, as the law expired on its own.

This current bill doesn’t have a sunset provision and, if passed into law, would never expire!

What Does the Assault Weapons Ban Mean for Gun Owners

Fortunately, it’s not quite time to bust out those pitchforks just yet.

In case you’re a little rusty on your Schoolhouse Rock, don’t forget that this is still just a bill sitting on Capitol Hill.

Although the bill passed in the House, it (or a similar version) will still need to be passed in the Senate.

In the House, the bill squeaked by with a razor-thin majority, but the Senate requires at least 60 votes to pass rather than a simple majority.

Even if the bill were to somehow pass in the Senate and be signed into law, any “assault weapons” and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” that were legally owned now would continue to be legal to own.

Faxon Firearms Ascent AR-15

However, things may not be as dire as they seem because of two important differences this time around.

First — as mentioned by our friends at the National Shooting Sports Foundation in their statement against the bill — after 10 years of the AWB, the CDC conducted a study that found the assault weapons ban didn’t actually reduce crime.

Secondly, and more importantly, back when the AWB passed in 1994, we did not have the NYSRPA v Bruen decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Supreme Court

Under the Bruen ruling, even if the bill were to be signed into law, there would be a very strong case of it being unconstitutional. Semi-automatic firearms are commonly used firearms for all sorts of perfectly legal purposes and have been for decades.

Because of Bruen, there would need to be historical evidence of banning the purchase and possession of these commonly used firearms and magazines to support the firearms ban of this bill.

Final Thoughts

So, what’s next? Well, right now…nothing. The way it stands, the bill likely won’t garner enough votes to pass the Senate.

Modded AR-15s
Modded AR-15s

Even if it’s not likely to make its way through the Senate, the fact the bill passed in the House did raise some eyebrows. With the recent “gun safety” law, legislators might be encouraged to continue to try and pass more anti-gun legislation.

So, what can you do to help? Help out with local 2A groups or even national groups that regularly challenge gun laws – such as the Gun Owners of America, Second Amendment Foundation, and Firearms Policy Coalition.

And yes, it never hurts to buy another gun. Just sayin’…

646
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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What do you think of the assault weapons ban? Let us know in the comments below. Want to stock up? We have the deets on the best pistols, AR-15s, and home defense shotguns.

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10 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Isaac

    No estoy en nada de acuerdo con la prohubición de las armas. No importa su tamño a capacidad no la deben de prihibir. A los delincuentes no le prohiben nada y el crimen aumentará si prohiben las armas de fuego. Hay muchos autos que han matado a muchas personas, tendran que prohibirlos poque son peligrosa y de una puede matar a nucho.

    September 12, 2022 4:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Herbert Walker

    Personally I think we should just make murder illegal and that should solve all of this.

    August 21, 2022 5:46 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Robert A Macnabb

    Increased Crime, Bans, Shortages, all spark panic increase in sales of guns and ammo! A small perantage of these will find their way into the hands of first time, or career criminals. Emboldened by their new weopon, crime increases! Don't panic, stay smart, stay armed!

    August 18, 2022 2:54 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Andrew J Sessions

    When will it go to the senate for vote?

    August 17, 2022 9:36 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Steve

      Imo, never.

      August 17, 2022 11:27 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    PM in Fl.

    There are always the RINOs to worry about, don't count on the (R) next to their names.

    August 17, 2022 8:22 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Will

    I disagree with the notion that it isn't time to get out the pitchforks yet just because it's unlikely to pass. If someone tries to shoot you, is all forgiven as long as they miss?

    August 17, 2022 4:50 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      John

      With the democrat policy's across the country on crime, with not prosecuting or letting them go on bail never to return or letting them out early or placing them in 'diversion' type programs with lax probation and the ever present 'persecuted minority - social circumstances made them do it so its not their fault' - yes, if you are a white victim most is forgiven if they miss or not and if you complain about it you are a 'racist' or 'far right wing radical' or some other imagined thing they they come up with but you will never be the 'victim' unless you are black.

      August 17, 2022 7:44 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joe Arnold

    Against any part of this ridiculous bill that will do nothing to stop crime or anything else they've lied about!!

    August 17, 2022 1:39 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Myony

    It's pretty much dead on arrival in the Senate, to be honest.

    Also, the politicization of firearms and its consequences has been a total disaster for politics in this country.

    August 16, 2022 3:19 pm
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