House passes ban on most popular firearms in America

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The House of Representatives on Friday passed gun control legislation, House Resolution 1808, on a vote of 217-213. The bill will advance to the Senate, where it is predicted to languish.

HR 1808 would ban nearly all semiautomatic firearms and standard capacity magazines, including the AR-15, an example of which is shown above being auctioned off in Nikiski, Alaska. It would also ban the AK-47.

The bill would ban many types of striker-fired handguns, which are among the most commonly owned firearms today. Striker-fired pistols are easy to use: After a shooter manually racks the slide to chamber a round, each subsequent trigger pull fires a single round, then ejects the spent casing, and loads another round into the chamber, rearming the firing pin, so the next round can be shot.

The House measure calls these firearms “assault weapons.” Many hunters in Alaska use AR-15s for caribou. There are more than 24.4 million of these types of firearms are currently in the possession of American citizens, according to the firearm blog, The Reload.

“More than 4.5 million ARs. AKs, and similar rifles were bought by American civilians since the last time their circulation was estimated, according to a new report. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry’s trade group, found there are now at least 24,446,000 of the guns in civilian hands. It said 2.7 million were produced or imported in 2020 alone–the most for any year on record,” the writer said.

“This is a truly significant figure that demonstrates – again – the popularity of this commonly-owned style of rifle,” Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President, said in a statement to The Reload. “The firearm industry responds to market demand and this shows that during the elevated period of firearm sales that began in 2020, this particular style of rifle is the top choice for law-abiding citizens for hunting, recreational shooting and self-defense.”

This bill makes it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic “assault weapon” or large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

AK-47. Photo credit: NRA

The proposed ban does not apply to a firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action; permanently inoperable; is an antique; and the bill does not specify a brand or model by name.

The bill exempts from the prohibition the following, with respect to a SAW or LCAFD:

  • importation, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession related to certain law enforcement efforts, or authorized tests or experiments; 
  • importation, sale, transfer, or possession related to securing nuclear materials; and
  • possession by a retired law enforcement officer.

After Congress approved similar legislation in 1994, Democrats lost control of the House and Senate. That ban expired in 2004, and polling data this year suggests the public would again be punishing to lawmakers, should the bill pass.

“The sweeping gun control law would also ban many triggers, and inhibit the use of lawfully acquired suppressors, another large part of our industry. For many of us, these arbitrary standards of what makes an ‘assault weapon’ would cover every item that we produce, guaranteeing the failure of our businesses,” said Gun Owners of America in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“A majority of all gun owners, especially the 14 million new gun owners who bought firearms to defend themselves during a period of unrest, would become owners of so-called “semiautomatic assault weapons” and thus be subject to undue and unconstitutional mandates from Congress.

“Time and time again, these commonly owned firearms have been used for self-defense. According to a 2021 National Firearms Survey from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business Research, there are an estimated 1.67 million defensive uses of a firearm each year. This means that firearms are at least as likely to be used to save lives than to take lives, if not many times more,” Gun Owners of America said in its letter. “As recognized by the federal government after the expiration of the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994, these laws do nothing to save lives or reduce crime. Instead, you will be limiting our customers’ ability to defend themselves adequately against criminals.”

Another bill working its way through the House is House Resolution 2814, which would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, and make firearm manufacturers responsible for crimes committed using the firearms they make and sell.

The bill is seen “as ridiculous as suing automotive manufacturers for pedestrian deaths based upon the malevolence of the drivers, rather than the deficiencies of the car’s design,” the Gun Owners of America Letter said.

The National Rifle Association was equally unimpressed: “Barely a month after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, gun control advocates in Congress are spearheading an assault upon the freedoms and civil liberties of law-abiding Americans. The promises made in HR 1808 are nothing short of a lie based on willful ignorance of the disastrous 1994 Clinton Gun Ban which failed to produce any significant drop in crime. With more than 24 million potentially-banned firearms in common use, these draconian restrictions fall in blatant opposition to the Supreme Court’s rulings in BruenCaetano v. Massachusetts, and DC v. Heller. Their refusal to recognize this reality places everyone at risk. Any legitimate attempt to address our nation’s surge in violent crime cannot commence until anti-gun legislators step away from the radicals who defund our police departments, support prosecutors who refuse to prosecute dangerous criminals, and promote no cash bail policies that have turned once proud communities into a playground of lawlessness and fear.”

66 COMMENTS

  1. Time to buy your “striker-fired handgun” and semi-automatic rifle of your choice. Of course I would buy used and not be subject to registering (I mean background checked) with the “government” since those records will somehow be used against you to hunt you down and your semi-automatic rifle + “striker-fired handgun”

  2. What did you expect! When the Republicans agreed to a backroom deal to exchange control of the populace through the Red Flag Laws with aborting babies…we will continue to see these bills come up. The most disturbing aspect though is that these Republicans chose to make any deal at all in respect to baby parts. May Yehoweh have mercy on your souls!

  3. I’d flat hate to be law enforcement if this passes. Folks we have refused to use torches, pitchforks, tar and feathers for waaay to long.

    I’m getting pretty sick and tired of explaining to my kids and grandkids why the constitution doesn’t mean what the words say. I hate that my dad still believes that you can’t challenge authority until you are authority. But we the people are the authority. We better start acting like it!

  4. Conventional hunting guns are not being called into question.
    However, why in heaven’s name do people use AR-15s for hunting animals such as caribou? My father hunted but did not need military-style weaponry to bring home game.
    In Palmer, I ran across 2 men hunting moose with bows and arrows. Much more challenging method that respects both the animal and the hunter!
    Assault weapons do not prove hunting abilities, Alaska-style « toughness » or virility. They should be in the hands of the military ONLY.

    • It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to type and remove all doubt. A civilian legal AR platform firearm is not a military weapon; why didn’t you go the whole way with lefty meme about weapons of war. Neither you nor the communists, excuse me, Democrats in the HOR could define an assault weapon beyond a black gun that they’ve been taught not to like. You’re just mindlessly spouting leftist talking points.

        • The “… better to remain silent…” quip has all sorts of attributions going all the way back to the Book of Proverbs; there are no contemporary attributions to either Lincoln or Mark Twain.

          As to the rest of your troll swill, I like poking stupid lefties with sharp sticks.

    • Catherine, the reason these weapons should be in every American’s possession is exactly what we as a nation are currently going through and have been going through since 2020 or did you completely miss the cities burning and innocent people being hurt by the BLM and ANTIFA goons. Now we have a government that is purposely destroying our economy and attacking every right you have under the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment was not written to promote and protect hunting. It was written to protect the people from tyranny! How do you suppose “We the people” are going to protect ourselves with single bolt action rifles and bow and arrows? Please wake up!

    • No such thing as an assault weapon. The left are so hell bent on taking guns away they make up names for them. Have you ever fired a gun or rifle before Catherine?

    • Yeah so they can use them to funnel people like you into camps or keep you compliant though the threat of force like every other regime that disarmed the populace. You are on the same side of history as communists and nazis. Shame on you.

    • Catherine, Perhaps you’ve forgotten that the British Regulars who marched to Lexington and Concorde did not do so to round up just “hunting rifles”. Turns out the colonists were purchasing cannon, which armed with grape shot was the “assault” rifle of that era. Reflect upon that along with the voluminous writings of the Founders regarding the need for the citizen to be properly armed.

      I agree with you in part regarding hunting weapons. A hunter should always insure a quick clean kill, he or she owes an Animal that. Bows, undersized semi-automatics and this new craze for making long shots do not provide for ethical taking of game.(especially on Bears)

      ArmaLite Rifles or A-R were designed for defensive purposes. The Militia described in the Second Amendment is ordinary citizens, (see D.C v. Heller 2008) and well regulated means that they are practiced in the use of their weapons to repulse all enemies both Foreign and Domestic.

    • “Much more challenging method that respects both the animal and the hunter!”
      .
      ????
      .
      You think using a bow respects the animal? That demonstrates clearly that you have ZERO idea whatsoever. Reality… the animal is significantly more likely to suffer for an extended period of time if the arrow is not placed precisely. Any arrow wound that does not immediately cause immediate death or does not cause significant damage to an artery will leave the animal alive and in great pain for a long time.
      .
      If you respect the animal, you will use the tool that results in the quickest, and most merciful death. Not the tool that is most challenging to use, resulting in pain and suffering on the part of the animal.

  5. It’s so sad to see people who have nothing to love or worship in their ives aside from semi-automatic assault weapons.

    • It’s so sad to see stupid comments like this. It is exactly that Americans love their freedom that the 2nd Amendment was written. What is truly sad is people like you who would gladly hand that freedom over for a false promise.

      • It’s even sadder to see people who actually believe that more guns make society safer. Real freedom is when one need not fear that their kids will be massacred in schools due to the proliferation of assault weapons. You have been badly deceived, and you’ve fallen hard for the myth.

        Someday soon, education of the young about the dangers of guns will result in firearms being banned, or at least severely restricted, and those who worship them will be forced to the fringes of society. That day can’t come soon enough.

        • “Someday soon, education of the young about the dangers of guns will result in firearms being banned, or at least severely restricted,”
          .
          Perfect. Let’s start doing exactly that. Let’s start educating the young about the danger of guns. In fact, there is already a very effective course that does exactly that. It is the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe program. I want you to get out there and encourage schools, recreation programs, parks, and pretty much everyone else to start getting this program out there.
          .
          I am excited to see you supporting this effort. If you really want to keep kids safe, teach them about how dangerous guns are. Eddie Eagle Gun Safe does EXACTLY that.

        • Even sadder that it won’t make it through the senate. Or if it does, won’t be enforceable. Maybe you should volunteer to help since you feel so strongly about it. Start out around Willow or down KGB for extra points.

    • Dawg, what is sad is that many people do not understand that our Constitutional rights are now and always have been under attack. Turns out that people were not always so disinterested or uninformed about these matters as they are at the present time. You see Dawg since the Lefties and Pinko’s got ahold of Education things took a definite turn south. But that’s normal for Commies isn’t it Dawg. I mean you can’t have a spark of Liberty in a Totalitarian State can you? Rule of Law and a Constitution are anathema to the tyrannical state right? I mean if your rights come from GOD, not the Politburo, that’s big trouble for you commies, right? Especially an armed and educated populace. Heaven forbid!

  6. It’s so sad to see people who have nothing to love or worship in their lives aside from semi-automatic assault weapons.

    • It’s sad to see a tired liberal try and pathetically fail to make a point.

      It’s sadder to see how little you care about the erosion of the Constitution.

      But you do you, boo.

  7. They probably know this won’t pass but they are testing the waters. They won’t give up until law abiding citizens are stripped of their only means of protection. Cartels will pick up where lawful gun dealers leave off with our porous southern border the main entry point. They can bring them in with the Fentanyl.

  8. Thanks God this bill will be DOA in the Senate….and this latest attempt to disarm millions of law abiding citizens of this nation will again fail..!!

    • Are you so sure it will be DOA?
      .
      First of all, the Dems have close to 50 votes. And, you can bet your bottom dollar that Collins will vote for it. I am 50/50 on Murkowski, and honestly, Romney is a solid yes. The only thing that may prevent it from passing is if a filibuster is pulled, and frankly I see too many RINOs folding and letting it go to a floor vote.

  9. How stupid and what a waste of time! All the Dems did was to put a few more nails in their majority coffin. This action will really galvanize the 2d amendment crowd to vote this fall. This law, if enacted would require tens of millions of law abiding gun owners to turn their semis and strikers over to the Govt? Or to destroy them? It would be unlawful to possess them so what would their options be? The bad guys, on the other hand, would still
    have these weapons and freely use them without worry about the “armed citizen” Good luck to the Govt in trying to enforce this law

  10. This House action is a prime example of the tyranny of strong, overbearing, central federal government. Our constitution leaves control of most matters (such as this) to the states. Its called state’s rights. If any state wants to over-regulate citizen’s’ lives (in a constitutional manner) then those citizens can choose to migrate to other states. On the other hand, when the federal government over-regulates our lives (either constitutionally or unconstitutionally) we are trapped. The Senate needs to stop this action.

  11. All day long, it is the idiot behind the trigger that is the problem.
    The gun is a tool. Period.
    We need to ban all knives and box cutters and CARS too with the Lefts ideation that inanimate items can somehow be the problem.
    Stupid is as stupid does.

    • RisesUp, you are right as a matter of plain fact. However, we must admit that a semi-auto rifle makes it easier to mass-murder school children than a box-cutter. That said, if a 10-million school children are murdered with rifles next year, I would still be unwilling to forfeit any of my rights under the 2nd Amendment. Its a matter of principal. Why should I ever surrender rights because the fools running our schools fail to arm the occupants for protection? “Gun-free zones…” my a$$.

      • What about a match? Or some nitrogen based fertilizer and diesel fuel?
        The worst mass murders in US history were committed without firing a single shot. Yet… the leftists refuse to acknowledge it.

  12. This was passed without ANY Alaskan Representation.
    Rest in Peace Honorable Don Young.
    They have already stolen 4 of my firearms.
    I will NOT comply.
    Government tyranny is here people.

    • so tough you are… they are tearing down our statues and having drag shows in local parks as we speak. Nobody says shit about it we go with the flow…

    • I see that you’ve never been in rural Ak, say a village. Rural people tend to buy used military rifles for hunting, not Mark Vs. Reason is expense. Do you remember when you could buy 5 Russian SKS,s for under $500; they are everywhere. Go in any Indian Village. You will find a guitar, 30-30, and usually a 308 semi auto rifle in the corner of every cabin. 308 is plenty enough gun for moose and grizzly bear too.

      • Wait so there is a surplus of old military ar-15s in Indian villages? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just buy a rifle at bass pro shops in anchorage or something? I mean these rural Indians you speak of have skiffs and outboards and snowmobiles and the latest I phones.. but they need to buy old military weapons? Where do they get those?

        • First, you can’t legally buy a used military AR, or M-16, or M-4, or SAW, all basically the same Armalite platform. What makes them military weapons and not available legally to civilians is that they are capable of automatic fire. The AR-15 was never a military weapon. AR-15 was the Armalite designation of the prototype weapon that was adopted by the military as the M-16. AR-15 was the designation of the semi-automatic version released to the civilian market.

          I worked at Cabela’s when it first opened and we sold a bazillian Russian Moisen-Nagant battle rifles that ran $100-$200 depending on condition. We never had many SKSs but they did show up. US ex-military is much harder to get and very expensive. When I was rattling around rural Alaska in the ’80s there were lots of Ruger Mini-14s, the civilian cousin to the AR. I still keep one; it uses the same .223 round and has the same rate of fire as the AR-15 but it is blued and has wood furniture and doesn’t frighten women, children, homesexuals, and fools like the ugly black AR does.

        • No such thing as an old military AR-15. That was never a military platform, nor was it ever under consideration for military use.
          .
          And, no… it would not be cheaper to purchase a rifle at Bass Pro Shops. Please do not base your support for any political position on assumptions. That is how we end up with poor public policy.

  13. “All laws repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”

    Since our lone Congressional Representative passed we Alaskans do not have representation as guaranteed by the constitution.
    Therefore, I do not recognize any legislation passed during the time I have not been represented

    “Governments derive their power by the consent of the governed.”

    I REVOKE MY CONSENT.

  14. The margin of passage was very small, 217-214. If it weren’t for Ranked Choice requirements, Alaska would have had representation in Congress, and that probably would have been another No vote.

      • The fundamental human right of one to defend themselves against threats, both private and political, is the civil liberty Robert is talking about.
        .
        Health care is a service, not a right. There is no fundamental human right that requires a medical professional to provide you services. However, there is a fundamental right to access without discrimination. Meaning that a doctor or hospital cannot turn you away because of your skin color, religion, etc…
        .
        And, why do you mention women? Are you equating abortion to health care? Abortion is the opposite of health care. One indicator of good health is the ability to carry a baby to term, and give birth to a healthy baby. Abortion stops that. There is nothing about abortion that promotes good health in any way.
        Abortion is not health care. Claims that it is are based strictly on the fact a doctor performs the procedure, nothing else. That would make cosmetic surgery health care, or vivisections health care as well.

  15. Thank you, Ms. Downing, for this column. I have not yet studied this particular legislation, but I do know this much: if “we the people” should be disarmed (which will not happen with me, while I have breath), then any criminal madman or criminal agent of the People’s Republic of Can-Am-Exico (capital city, Chicago) who wields a revolver or a double-barreled shotgun will have the capability to carry out mass murder.

    The nihilist-killers who appear too often in the street parade routes and the gun-free zones of our public spaces seem not to fear the commandments and judgments of God. The fear of God is no longer taught in the public schools and in most homes, and now is rarely taught in contemporary churches. Except for a wide-spread spiritual awakening we will not find help there.

    We must turn to the criminal courts. Presently, the trials for mass murderers are typically delayed for several years – and the punishments are delayed, too, even for decades when the sentence is death – so that the nihilist-killers are apparently indifferent to the penalty for their crime. Much can be accomplished here. Concerned citizens must demand statutory measures that require the trial of a mass murderer to begin within 90 days of indictment, and that require a mandatory sentence of death by hanging to be be carried out within six months of conviction. An appeal to a higher court shall be submitted within 30 days of conviction, and the court of appeal shall be required to render its decision within 30 days of receipt of the case.

    The majority of our current, career legislators will be reluctant to promote this manner of progressive (Teddy Roosevelt “progressive”) legislation, so a grassroots movement is needed. Retribution is what Moses required, and retribution works best when carried out sooner, rather than later. The present-day example of Singapore is entirely sufficient.

  16. From the time the words were placed on paper, this bill was unconstitutional and lawsuits will be forthcoming if the Senate is stupid enough to pass it. Make no mistake, the Dems know their time in power is short and their party is imploding and may never recovery from the tyranny they have unleashed on the American people. You will see every crazy bill you can imagine come from them and their leftist supporters. They know the American people are awake now and they can no longer hide behind the lies and the fake news. We are witnessing one of the grandest moments in American History, where corrupt politicians and bureaucrats decided to overthrow our government by stealing an election and ruining our economy on purpose to bring the people to their knees. Americans from all walks of life and from every corner of the nation are standing up and saying no more! We have had it with liars and deceivers and will place America First candidates in office that are not there to fill their pockets at our expense. Let every corrupt politician and corporate goon be placed on notice. Your time is coming, you had a chance to set things straight and do the right thing but you chose to attack innocent people, you chose to attack our kids and allowed an experimental drug that is destroying lives to be used on the people. You collaborated with Big Tech and Big Pharma against us and framed Americans at the D.C. rally so you could punish them for exhibiting their Constitutional right to Aire their grievances. You are the problem, not the good American people who just want to be free and live their lives in the pursuit of happiness watching their children grow up without a tyrant hovering over them. May justice come swiftly to you and your kind. Dear Father in heaven bring justice swiftly upon the evil in our land and reclaim the covenant you had with America, in Jesus name Amen!

  17. I dont hunt.
    I own guns. Semi automatic rifles.
    I obey laws.
    I love many things in this world.
    I live freedom the most.

    My guns are for protection from criminals, tyrrany, anarchists, kooks ,and the Government.

    And there is nothing you can do about it.

    SCOTUS will strike it down.

    And during this whole show, another 500k guns will be sold.

    Now go cry about it. Im loading magazines.

    • ABF, Thanks, frankly one of the best comments I’ve seen posted in awhile.
      BTW, I just ordered more Magazines for my “striker fired” Glocks!
      Cheers!

  18. It’s not about GUNS! It’s not about Climate Change. It’s not about racism. It’s not about Covid. All of these are a means to control. If a group of people are desperate to control another group of people, they’d look for some way to justify depriving them of powerful weapons to defend themselves. This is precisely why there is a 2nd Amendment…because the Founders feared that there would come in the future, a group that would try to demolish America and freedoms established for Her people. A well armed militia (not the same thing as “military”)…would certainly make it much harder to steal that freedom. In my view, it is UN-Constitutional to outlaw any weapon. It’s already against the law to use weapons to commit crimes. It is not against the law to use that weapon for self defense. The vast majority of gun owners are upright, law abiding citizens.

  19. “You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass.”
    Attributed to Admiral Yamamoto: can’t be authenticated in any official record, but it’s still What keeps invaders out of America. Russia had 12 million soldiers during WW-2. 12 million vs.330 million armed Americans?
    Switzerland requires their active and reservists to keep a military rifle at home, with several basic loads of ammo. Their government trusts their citizens: and their citizens trust their government.
    All of the countries which have historically been invaded multiple times had first disarmed their citizens. Look at Europe, Some allow only muzzle-loaders.

    • 337 mass shootings in the USA in just the first half of 2022!
      What other country shoots up so many of its fellow citizens, most recently in ordinary settings such as schools, stores or medical facilities?
      The Swiss certainly don’t.

      • Of those 337 mass shootings, how many were criminals shooting other criminals?
        .
        Please, put your stat into perspective. One gang shooting at another gang over a drug deal gone wrong is very different than an individual shooting up a school, store, or medical facility.
        .
        What you are doing here is nothing more than marketing in an attempt to justify your position on gun ownership by the law abiding and responsible individuals across the nation. Perhaps, if you focus on the criminals, and stopping them from criminal behavior, the deaths would dry up.

  20. Let’s see if I have this right.
    .
    I, a law abiding and responsible individual will be told the firearms I currently own, and use in a law abiding and responsible manner, are now illegal because someone I have never met might commit a crime with a firearm that looks similar.
    .
    I am pretty sure this violates the protections provided to me as a law abiding and responsible adult under the 5th, 6th, 4th, and likely 8th Amendments to the constitution.

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