Semi-automatic rifles, including many defined as “assault weapons” by the 1994 federal gun ban, are generally used for lawful activities like marksmanship competitions, hunting, and target shooting. Very rarely is a weapon covered by the ban used for illegal activities. In fact, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), one of the principal authors of the 1994 bill, admitted during an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune (1-30-94) that the number of crimes committed with a semi-automatic rifle is “probably less than 3 percent.” Furthermore, in a piece aired by CBS’s Sixty Minutes (2-5-95), she stated that the legislation was essentially a step towards a complete and total ban on the ownership of firearms by the general citizenry of the United States.
The 1994 ban on certain semi-automatic weapons and on magazines over ten rounds expired in September 2004. I am pleased Congress chose not to reauthorize the ban. Should any attempt be made in the future to reinstate the ban, I will support the rights of law abiding Americans and defend the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by voting against the reauthorization attempt.