The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), or Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, was a subtitle of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, a federal law in the United States that included a prohibition on the manufacture for civilian use of certain semi-automatic firearms, so called "assault weapons". The 10-year ban was passed by Congress on September 13, 1994, and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton the same day. The ban only applied to weapons manufactured after the date of the ban's enactment.
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired on September 13, 2004, as part of the law's sunset provision. There have been multiple attempts to renew the ban, but no bill has reached the floor for a vote.
Assault weapon (semi-automatic) refers primarily (but not exclusively) to firearms that possess the cosmetic features of an assault rifle (which are fully-automatic). Actually possessing the operational features, such as 'full-auto', is not required for classification as an assault weapon; merely the possession of cosmetic features is enough to warrant such classification as an assault weapon. Semi-automatic firearms, when fired, automatically extract the spent cartridge casing and load the next cartridge into the chamber, ready to fire again; they do not fire automatically like a machine gun; rather, only one round is fired with each trigger pull.
@tuckahoetommy no impact of...bans on violent crime rates...evidence Assault Weapon Bans increased murder rates http://t.co/CwbsAzSW