20 U. Dayton L. Rev. 619 (1994-1995)
The Great Assault Weapon Hoax

handle is hein.journals/udlr20 and id is 627 raw text is: THE GREAT ASSAULT WEAPON HOAX
Joseph P. Tartaro*
On the morning of September 13, 1994, President William Jefferson
Clinton, surrounded by Vice President Gore, members of the Clinton Cabinet,
members of both houses of Congress, the mayors of several major cities, and
numerous supporters of the legislation among police administrators, signed into
law the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
Passage of the bill did not come easily. It involved a combination of
preventive and punishment initiatives, most of which were contentious to one
group or another. Many civil libertarians opposed the classification of some
sixty federal crimes as punishable by the death penalty. Fiscal conservatives
denounced the proposed expenditure of over $30 billion which was not actually
budgeted by the 103d Congress. Even some mayors and local police
administrators demanded changes in the bill to permit them to spend money on
equipment and training rather than additional patrol officers--one of the main
justifications for the bill.
Perhaps one of the most contentious points was the provision which banned
the future manufacture, importation, sale and transfer of a whole class of
semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and pistols and ammunition magazines of over
I 0-round capacity. Described with noticeable artifice as merely a reasonable ban
on only nineteen semi-automatic assault weapons, the law bans almost 200
commonly owned firearms, the magazines for most popular modem police and
self-defense pistols, and even replicas of the black-powder era 1860 Henry
Repeating Rifle. The sweep of the ban came as a surprise to many, including the
revelation after passage that the law added people who are under restraining
orders to the list of those who are prohibited from buying or possessing any
firearm, which had previously been limited to convicted felons, drug and alcohol
abusers and mental patients.
While the new law, with its grandiose name, will change the nature,
character and technology of firearms and ammunition used for civilian
self-protection, competition and sport in the future, and will put a number of
American craftsman out of work and manufacturers and importers out of
business, it will not remove one single firearm from the hands of any criminal.
Notwithstanding this, many major newspapers that supported the gun and
* President, Second Amendment Foundation. For more information about the Second Amendment
Foundation, or to obtain information regarding the assertions contained in this Article, write to the Second
Amendment Foundation, James Madison Building, 12500 N.E. Tenth Place, Bellevue, Washington 98005.
Phone: (206) 454-7012.

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