The Assault Ban of 1994, What Do You Recall About It?

The Assault Ban of 1994, What Do You Recall About It?

This is a discussion on The Assault Ban of 1994, What Do You Recall About It? within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that from about 1993 to 1995, I was very involved with my mid-life crisis/melt-down and paid no attention to ...

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Thread: The Assault Ban of 1994, What Do You Recall About It?

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    The Assault Ban of 1994, What Do You Recall About It?

    I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that from about 1993 to 1995, I was very involved with my mid-life crisis/melt-down and paid no attention to what were then current events. I'm pretty sure I was unaware of the Clinton Gun Ban until about 1996. Was it discussed much publicly before it came down? Did the NRA go along to get along? Was there much of a public outcry? How does what we are looking at now compare to what was happening then?
    "If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast."
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    I was in college during those years and current events weren't even on the radar. This link seems to provide some pretty good information. Surprisingly, there are a lot of parallels in the makeup of the congress between then and now (R controlled House, D controlled Senate, and a D president) along with infighting, etc. Here are some relevant pieces from the article:
    he Assault Weapons ban of 1994 was not popular among many members of the National Rifle Association (who) launched a lobbying move to block it. Members were encouraged to contact their representatives
    it was numbered as one of the narrowest victories in legislative history. Gun owners, divided by political infighting between weekend hunters (who see no need for assault weapons) and strict constitutionalists (who obviously do) were unable to effectively rally together for a common cause.
    In 1996 the House started legislation to repeal the ban as it was ineffective, but the Senate stalled the bill which died. It also talks about, and I have read this elsewhere, that the politicians who favored the ban were voted out of office en mass.

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    Good read, thanks. It passed by two votes and became law.
    "If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast."
    William T. Sherman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that from about 1993 to 1995, I was very involved with my mid-life crisis/melt-down and paid no attention to what were then current events. I'm pretty sure I was unaware of the Clinton Gun Ban until about 1996. Was it discussed much publicly before it came down? Did the NRA go along to get along? Was there much of a public outcry? How does what we are looking at now compare to what was happening then?
    I am 60 years old, and have been shooting about half of my lifetime. I was even a LEO for a short time. But like you, the time period during the Clinton era AWB I had lost interest, and wasn't even aware of the ban. Paid no attention to it. I believe there are many people that really have no direct interest in guns or shooting out there who are not really paying attention to all the AWB talk, but, I believe most of them would be against such a ban I they were educated about the situation, simply because they would bw opposed to any infringement on any of our civil liberties.
    That is why it is SO VERY IMPORTANT for us to try to educate our friends, both gun lovers and those that don't enjoy our hobby. Try to introduce the shooting sport to someone or as many someones as you can. You better believe the anti's are doing double duty to get their message across.
    Donnie D
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    It wasn't a big deal. Since the definition of "assault weapon" is pretty much meaningless, it came down to things like barrel shrouds and adjustable stocks and so forth, and an "assault weapon" had to have a certain number of features to qualify.

    In response, gun makers produced a wide range of guns that had all but 1 of the features in question. Dealers had massive stockpiles of pre-ban 30-round magazines. So if you wanted a Bushmaster or similar, you just got one.

    After the ban was lifted, there were more mil-spec weapons available. Very little difference before and after.

    As cooler heads prevail, we'll see people focusing their attention on more important matters - like just enforcing the laws already on the books.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    As I recall, the AWB got its steam from the Stockton Schoolyard Shooting in 1989 (Cleveland School massacre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). I was a bit surprised, but I now recall, that Bush I signed an executive order banning the importation of assault weapons after the shootings. I do recall some news coverage during the early days of the Clinton administration when this was being passed, but I didn't follow it too closely then.

    But like now, the AWB back then started with some public outcry from a school shooting (then, the 1989 Stockton shootings).

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    I remember it. I remember hearing on the news it had passed. People got stupid then too, but not like now. People tried selling Hi cap mags for ridiculous prices at first.

    One thing that was telling was in the absence of hi capacity, people chose big calibers.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    The Assault Ban of 1994, What Do You Recall About It?

    Gonna begin seeing a lot more 45 brass on the range I guess. The 1911 may never fade away. Just when I retired the single stack to my bedside blow the dust back off.... I was also too busy raising kids during those years. Guns were not on our mind and I had sold my hunting rifles. Moved back to Atlanta area and the crime drove us to buy a handgun then found myself living close to a gun club and got back into it. Just when I start enjoying my freedoms Jesus has to be elected. And I was actually fooled by his whole scam until I saw that was not rain coming down my back...

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    I carried a 1911 back then so mag capacity was never an issue with me. I always carried spare mags like I do now. I remember AKs having thumb hole stocks and not much else. When it expired in 2004 it was barely mentioned.

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    There wasn't near as much coverage in the press back then as there is now. As to the NRA, they did fight it. IIRC they were the ones who got the sunset clause put into the bill.
    oneshot likes this.
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    The week before Congress passed the "assault" ban, I walked three blocks and plunked down some hard earned cash to purchase this:



    It was a good investment then, and a fine home defense weapon since.
    brookl089 likes this.

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    The only thing that makes it so noisy now is all the other offences to our constitution, like TSA, patriot act, NDAA, Federal healthcare, etc. Then of course there is the media like Piers Morgan, Diane Feinstein, big 'O', etc. The DOJ and Treasury bailing out Billionare criminals are adding to the tension, 47 million (1 in 6.5) on food stamps, real unemployment over 15% (maybe 20% when you count part timers, small business owners out of business) etc. etc. and the importance of having personal and home protection is growing. Just think that $1,000,000,000 dollars were spent by each party to get their guy elected and now that one billion has to be paid back through phony 2000 page legislation. IMHO the terrorists have won ... they set out to destroy our free country and now so many people would have safety rather than freedom.
    mg27, msgt/ret and Warmon like this.
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    One significant difference between today and 1994 is the pervasiveness of broadband internet access. The "News Cycle" is much shorter, faster, and intense. Other than that, I later (2002 or so) ended up with a Norinco AK-47 which was in transit at passage that received that atrocious thumb-hole stock that was soon replaced.


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    I purchased a Glock 23, with the 13 round mags before the ban went into effect. The G23, and 1911 were the autoloaders least effected by the ban.

    I also discovered the SKS, and how great a little rifle it really was. Even though I hated the ban, I didn't feel the least bit under armed by the choices left.
    gasmitty likes this.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Like Rock and Glock said, the internet was just starting, so news was slower for the shooting public. You caught it on the radio or tv, and only discussed it with your shooting buddies, not on national forums like this.

    I remember at the time, none of us diehard "firearms" types were very happy about it, but it was fairly ridiculous in that if focused on "features" that we all knew were just feel good measures. It also targeted guns like the AR's and AK's, which at that time, probably the vast majority of shooters regarded as kind of worthless for "regular" folks anyhow. Sure there were people that had them, but they were viewed more as cool very expensive toys than practical guns. (ex: The military would basically give old M16's to law enforcement, but many agencies refused due to the "image" of the guns, opting instead for bolt actions)

    At a gunshow, there would be just a couple tables of "Black" type guns, with all the young "punk" types hanging around it, and everyone else kind of just looked down their noses at those guns. I remember being interested in them, but didn't want to loiter too long, for being viewed poorly by the elder gun enthusiests I knew. Now it's swung almost too far the other way, seems like that's all you see at gunshows now!

    That seems to have changed radically since, with many more people owning these types of rifles, and even using them to hunt with, since we have larger calibers than .22 available now. Owning an AR-15 was much more rare, back then. The "Wonder Nines" were also still fairly new to the scene. Revolvers and 1911's still pretty much dominated. Yeah they were out there, but "only 'kids' owned them, and they just wanted to spray bullets around, since they couldn't aim" was kind of the sentiment in the hardcore gun circles.

    I knew at the time that the 2A didn't have anything to do with hunting, or such, but I can remember very well, that the majority of shooters didn't necessarily understand or share that view. Lots more complacency then. Plus, many feared truly draconian registration of ALL semi-autos, or just an outright ban on them, so when the AWB came about, it was like, ok, as long as that is all you do. Much different political landscape back then.

    Even today, I can't remember the poll I heard, but a very large number of firearms owners, don't see any reason for anyone to own an "AR" type rifle. You probably don't find many of them here, but they are out there.

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