The Mask Is Off

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Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 (HR 5087) on Monday and he has 167 co-sponsors as of now. They are all Democrats.

He says in his press release:

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 will prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of:

· Semi-automatic rifles and pistols with a military-style feature that can accept a detachable magazine;
· Semi-automatic rifles with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds;
· Semi-automatic shotguns with a military-style feature;
· Any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds;
· And 205 specifically-named and listed firearms.

The bill has almost a hundred pages of long arms that would be exempted under the bill. It is as if the authors of the bill took a bunch of back issues of Gun Digest or Shooters Bible and just copied them. Appendix A features such firearms as Purdy side by side shotguns, Holland and Holland double rifles, and Ruger M77 bolt actions. It does, to be fair, include some Ruger 10/22s.

The meat of the bill is in the definitions.  Here is the definition of “semiautomatic assault weapons” which then follows a multi-page list of listed firearms.

‘‘The term ‘semiautomatic assault weapon’
means any of the following, regardless of country of manufacture or caliber of ammunition accepted:

(A) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:

‘‘(i) A pistol grip.
‘‘(ii) A forward grip.
‘‘(iii) A folding, telescoping, or detachable  stock.
‘‘(iv) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.
‘‘(v) A barrel shroud.
‘(vi) A threaded barrel.

‘‘(B) A semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed
magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

‘‘(C) Any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.

‘‘(D) A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:

‘‘(i) A threaded barrel.
‘‘(ii) A second pistol grip.
‘‘(iii) A barrel shroud.
‘‘(iv) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.
‘‘(v) A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.

‘‘(E) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

‘‘(F) A semiautomatic shotgun that has any 1 of the following:

‘‘(i) A folding, telescoping, or detachable

‘‘(ii) A pistol grip.
‘‘(iii) A fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds.
‘‘(iv) The ability to accept a detachable magazine.
‘‘(v) A forward grip.
‘‘(vi) A grenade launcher or rocket launcher.

‘‘(G) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

‘‘(H) All of the following rifles, copies, duplicates, variants, or altered facsimiles with the capability of any such weapon thereof: (long list starting with AKs and going from there)

It continues after naming a bunch of shotguns and pistols in sub paragraphs I and J:

‘‘(K) All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms, including TNW M2HB and FN M2495.

‘‘(L) Any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraphs (A) through (K) can be assembled.

‘‘(M) The frame or receiver of a rifle or shotgun described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (F), (G), (H), (J), or (K).

The bill goes on further to ban the sale, import, possession, transfer, or manufacture of “semiautomatic assault weapons” after the date of the enactment of the bill. It would grandfather those in circulation made before that date. Moreover, the ban would not apply to the military, police, armed guards, etc. or in other words, “only ones”.  Indeed, retired LEOs could be sold their “semiautomatic assault weapon” upon their retirement.

The bill would ban “large capacity ammunition feeding devices”. These are defined as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device, including any such device joined or coupled with another in any manner, that has an overall capacity of, or that can be readily restored, changed, or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”

There is a safe storage requirement for grandfathered “semiautomatic assault weapons” that requires them to be inaccessible to prohibited persons.

Finally, the bill would require any grandfathered “semiautomatic assault weapons” to be transferred through a licenses dealer. There are a few other things in the bill such as appropriations for gun buy-backs and notification requirements on the part of dealers if a prohibited person attempts to buy a grandfathered “semiautomatic assault weapon”.

As I’m reading paragraphs A and D, if the firearm in question could take a detachable magazine and any one of the listed items, then it is a “semiautomatic assault weapon”.  That would include virtually all semiautomatic rifles and pistols as you have replacement stocks, replacement threaded barrels, etc. that would make the rifle or pistol thus fall into this category. If you think I’m reading this wrong, feel free to correct me. The exceptions, of course, are those specifically listed by model in Appendix A. However, even those could become one of those evil “semiautomatic assault weapons” if you replaced the stock with a pistol grip stock or had the barrel threaded.

What also is not said explicitly in this bill is that you could not use a suppressor on any post-ban gun unless it attached by a means other than threading on to the barrel. Thus, this bill indirectly would put a crimp on what is in reality a safety device.

I posted a meme the other day talking about raising the age to 21 to buy a rifle. With a little rewording and replacing a standard wooden stocked Ruger 10/22 with one that has a threaded barrel, the meme still stands. They want you to think its only one thing but they mean its everything.