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Expired Assault Weapons Ban Would Have Covered Rifle Used In Colorado Shooting

Posted by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM
  • 44 Replies

Expired Assault Weapons Ban Would Have Covered Rifle Used In Colorado Shooting

An AR-15 rifle.

One of the principal weapons used by James Eagan Holmes in the horrific Dark Knight Rises shooting would have been subject to a series of sharp restrictions under the now-expired federal Assault Weapons ban. The AR-15 rife carried by Holmes, a civilian semi-automatic version of the military M-16, would have been defined as a “semiautomatic assault weapon” under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. If the law was still in force, semiautomatic assault weapons would have been outright banned:

  • Such weapons were “unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer, or possess” under section (a)(v)(i).
  • Though there were several loopholes in the Violent Crime Control Act that allowed gun manufacturers to legally produce slightly modified AR-15s, a new version of the bill proposed in 2008 closed them.
  • The 1994 Act contained a sunset provision that caused it to automatically expire 10 years after passage, and it was not renewed in 2004, meaning that there are no federal restrictions on the ownership of AR-15s and similar weapons. Both Congressman Ed Perlmutter (who represents Aurora, the site of the shooting) and President Obama proposed a new assault weapons ban during their campaigns.
  • Today, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on the President and Governor Romney to address gun violence, saying “maybe it’s time that the two people who want to be President of the United States stand up and tell us what they are going to do about it, because this is obviously a problem across the country.”

    UPDATE

    Holmes’ guns, including his AR-15, were all legally purchased since May from two national chains, Bass Pro Shops and Gander Mountain Guns.


    UPDATE

    Purportedly, the AR-15 used by Holmes had a high-capacity clip, which were banned as “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” in the 1994 legislation.

    by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM
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    Replies (1-10):
    4kidz916
    by Gold Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 4:40 PM
    4 moms liked this

    I don't like assault weapons and I don't see a need for them but if someone wants to do this bad enough they'll find a way.  Gun bans or not.

    Pema_Jampa
    by 2HotTacoTini on Jul. 20, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Might have saved someone. It matters.

    rachelrothchild
    by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 4:53 PM
    6 moms liked this

    You know what else would have saved them?  A gun.

    Pema_Jampa
    by 2HotTacoTini on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Not when you can't see and breathe from the gas.

    Quoting rachelrothchild:

    You know what else would have saved them?  A gun.


    JakeandEmmasMom
    by Gold Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM
    1 mom liked this

     

    Quoting rachelrothchild:

    You know what else would have saved them?  A gun.

     No it wouldn't have.  He was decked out in full body armor.  He even had it wrapped around his neck.

    imamomzilla
    by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:18 PM
    3 moms liked this

     Never let a crisis go to waste.

    JakeandEmmasMom
    by Gold Member on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:18 PM

     I'm not convinced that the assault weapons ban would have prevented this.

    rachelrothchild
    by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    OK, so I showed this to my husband, who knows a thing or two about this.  I hate to tell you this, but the now-expired AWB would have done nothing to stop this.  Rifles like this were still legal to purchase and own during the ban, only they couldn't have certain "military-style" features.  What that means is that they couldn't mount a bayonet or have a muzzle device like compensator or flash suppressor.  Under the ban, everything else about this rifle was still 100% legal.  While the statement about the magazines is partially true, what we're not told is that the ban only applied to newly-manufactured ones.  Any standard-capacity magazines manufactured prior to the ban were still 100% legal.


    But we shouldn't ignore the fact that the assailant also had three other firearms on his person at the time.  Even it he hadn't been carrying the AR-15, I think he'd have still struck down just as many victims as he did.

    Mommy_of_Riley
    by Just Jess on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:47 PM
    3 moms liked this
    So he would have used a different gun.

    And even if it were illegal you don't think someone intent on killing others won't find a way to get the weapon they want?

    It's tragic what happened in CO but the blame game is getting old
    Posted on CafeMom Mobile
    Mommy_of_Riley
    by Just Jess on Jul. 20, 2012 at 5:48 PM
    Wouldn't have mattered in this case.

    He had full body armor.... Chest, groin, neck, etc.


    Quoting rachelrothchild:

    You know what else would have saved them?  A gun.

    Posted on CafeMom Mobile
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