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State Semiauto Bans Try to Accomplish What Feds Cannot (Yet)

Blue states are attempting to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and federal law to go after “assault weapons.”

State Semiauto Bans Try to Accomplish What Feds Cannot (Yet)

The states in red have passed gun control to the point where many countries in Europe have more gun freedom than Americans living in those states – all have a form of an “assault weapons” ban and all have magazine limits. States in yellow have magazine capacity bans, purchasing restrictions, etc. and/or are in danger of turning turn red. Light green states have very good to excellent 2nd Amendment freedoms but may be in danger due to liberals winning key elections and/or have passed laws on purchasing, restricting certain accessories, etc.. Dark green states have very good to excellent 2nd Amendment freedoms (excluding unconstitutional federal laws), and have strong conservative legislatures and executive political offices. (Alaska would be dark green, and Hawaii would be yellow.) (Firearms New photo)

“We must pass an assault weapons ban. The American people support this commonsense action to get weapons of war off our streets,” Joe Biden proclaimed after a teenager in Raleigh went on a “shooting spree” killing five.  That, per the police report, the evil little loser was armed with Biden’s “weapon of choice” for shooting through doors and off balconies, a shotgun, matters not when there’s an unquestioning cheerleader media eager to parrot whatever inane assertion the dotard-in-chief wishes to make. It’s not like a public that for the most part gets its information from the gatekeepers are going know what it’s not being told.

So, when Biden holds a photo op and declares "The idea we still allow semiautomatic weapons to be purchased is sick. It's just sick," only those who know the score are going to point out that he just expanded the types of guns he wants to ban by an order of magnitude. An insincere “walking back” of the statement by the White House press secretary that will only be noticed by those paying attention hardly undoes the damage—and that’s intentional.

We are, after all, talking about a public (and media) that for the most part, has long ago fallen for the tactic of opportunistic deception proposed by the Violence Policy Center back in 1988: “The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.” 

And nobody among the press or the ignorant (but I repeat myself) bats an eye when Biden, while taking center stage at the “10th Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence,” pledges “our work continues to limit the number of bullets that can be in a cartridge.” Significantly, that wasn’t misspoken—it was scripted.

The feds haven’t given up on a new “assault weapons” ban, but for now, with Republicans assuming control of the House and the filibuster (still) in place in the Senate, it appears, at least at this writing, like the time is not yet “right.” Let a significantly atrocious mass killing be perpetrated (in a “gun-free zone”!) along the lines of 2004’s Beslan massacre in the Russian Federation’s North Ossetia republic, and we’ll see how many in the GOP decide their political self-interests suddenly make abandoning constituents who believed their NRA ratings an option to consider.

In the meantime, expect efforts instructing ATF to issue definition-changing rules to actualize the VPC fraud and declare semiautos “machineguns” to continue. And expect the antis to redouble their gaslighting denials that “no one is talking about taking your guns.”

Illinois "Assault Weapon" Ban

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker aims to get assault weapon ban proposal ‘done in the first half of the year’,” the Chicago Tribune reports. Recent developments happening while writing this article indicate it may not take that long.

“Under the proposed legislation, those under 21 wouldn’t be able to acquire a FOID card unless they are active-duty military or National Guard members,” the Tribune elaborates. “The measure also would ban the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines and make changes intended to strengthen the state’s red-flag law by extending the period someone can be barred from possessing a gun from six months to a year and by giving local prosecutors a greater role in the process.” Have no doubts, Pritzker will get what he wants. 

“Democrats currently hold supermajorities of 73-45 in the House and 41-18 in the state Senate,” the Tribune reminds us, adding, “House Democrats will see their supermajority swell to a 78-40 advantage, while the Senate Democrats will retain a supermajority despite a net loss of one seat in November.” Add to that, Illinois Republicans aren’t exactly Second Amendment stalwarts, having given gun owners in the recent past such in-your-face enemies as Mark Kirk (“Senator Kirk has consistently demonstrated his independence by advancing common sense legislation to keep assault weapons off our streets and ensure criminals and terrorists do not have access to firearms”), and Bob Dold ("All options are on the table for him when it comes to effectively reducing gun violence").

And while Pritzker’s opponent in the last  election, Darren Bailey, who lost by a near landslide (54.6 % to 42.6%) took all kinds of heat for holding fundraising gun raffles, including an AR-15 in 2019, the GOP establishment, true to form, “spent about $50 million in a failed effort to steer support toward a moderate candidate.” “Legislators are likely to vote next month on a proposal (House Bill 5855) that would ban future sales of a list of guns, as well as what backers describe as high-capacity magazines,” Chicago’s WTTW News reports.

It may come sooner than that. As this article is going to press, the news just came out that “The proposal was approved by the House Executive Committee on a strict party-line vote, 9-5,” with all Democrats voting for the ban and all Republicans against it. Speculation is, by the time this is posted, the bill will have gone to the full House and then the Senate. Don’t be surprised to see it pass. The only question remaining is how many more “mass shootings” Democrat-controlled Chi-Town will continue to register on a weekly basis after it does. Then again, that’s hardly unexpected, so challenges requesting an injunction should be ready to go.

Wolverines! Michigan House Bill 6544

That’s what Michiganians call themselves, even though, per Absolute Michigan, “It is even unclear if this largest member of the weasel family ever lived in Michigan.”  What is clear is that there’s no shortage of oath-breaking Democrat weasels in state government, as evidenced by House Bill 6544, “A bill to ban the manufacture, possession, purchase, and sale of assault weapons; to provide certain powers and duties for certain state and local officials and agencies; to provide for the promulgation of rules; and to provide penalties.”


“Introduced” in December by Democrat State Rep. Jeffrey Pepper, fresh off his jihad to prohibit “ghost guns” and who never saw any gun he didn’t want to outlaw, the bill will ban any “semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has 1 or more of the following characteristics: (i) A pistol grip or thumbhole stock. (ii) Any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand. (iii) A folding or telescoping stock. (iv) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel.”

In short, “commonsense gun safety proponents” demand shooters be less accurate and risk burning themselves in the process. And when a characteristic -based ban is deemed insufficient (nothing but total citizen disarmament will be), the violence monopolists will be back with more tweaks. “Except as otherwise provided in this section, beginning January 1, 2024, a person shall not manufacture, possess, purchase, or sell an assault weapon in this state,” the bill continues.

“Otherwise provided?”

Yeah, existing owners are “grandfathered” in. One thing gun-grabbers know how to do is sucker in the ignorant and gullible with “reasonable compromises” to get the more dull-witted among gun owners to accept their rights swindles as something they can obey instead of defy and resist. All they have to do is register their firearm with the state police, and renew that every five years. If they do that, they’ll be allowed to keep their property (for now). If they don’t, they’ll be declared felons, and treated as such.

Hey, it’s safer and easier going after the (previously) “law-abiding” and propertied than it is the welfare state-created career predators who pose real dangers to the innocent and productive. Besides, what could go wrong for the compliant?

Connecticut Won't Stop

“Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) is weighing a push to end or repeal a grandfathering clause in a gun control bill in order to force residents to hand over any AR-15s,” Breitbart  reports.  “(AR-15s) should not be allowed in the state of Connecticut. I think they’re killers,” Lamont declared. “I think they’re incredibly dangerous in our community. You’re not serious about crime if you leave them on the street.”

While the legislature – at this time – appears to have little appetite for opening up that political can of worms, it’s not hard to imagine a sufficiently horrific “gun-free zone” massacre giving the grabbers enough juice to renege on past promises. It’s not like anyone dumb enough to vote for a Connecticut Democrat, that is the majority there, will mind disarming those they’ve been conditioned to view as “rightwing extremists” and worse.

That’ll teach those “deplorables” to obey the law!

Washington Joins the List

“Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson will request legislation for a statewide ban on the purchase or transfer of assault-style semiautomatic rifles as part of the latest push by firearms-safety advocates in Olympia,” nonprofit news site” Crosscut reports

“That proposal and others are in the legislative agenda released ... by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility ahead of the legislative session beginning in January,” the report elaborates. “The advocacy group is also pushing for lawmakers to allow private citizens to pursue legal action against gun manufacturers, a proposal that also has Ferguson’s and the governor’s support...”

Illinois, Michigan, and Washington are set to join eight states, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, and the District of Columbia” in denying to their citizens what the Founders sought to guarantee and protect. And don’t forget Democrat-run jurisdictions that have passed bans of their own, like Highland Park, Cook County, and Chicago in Illinois, Colorado bans like Denver’s or Boulder’s (currently suspended while in litigation), and Boston’s requirement for a license from the Police Commissioner. 

And lest we forget, passage of the wholly undoable Ballot Measure 114 in Oregon bans magazines over 10 rounds (and also requires permits from local law enforcement to purchase any firearms, requires a training course, application fee, fingerprinting, and a duplicative background check to obtain the permit-to-purchase

A Historical Understanding

“Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American,” Continental Congress Delegate Tench Coxe declared. Opportunistic and treasonous politicians aren’t letting that slow them down, And yes, that last characterization is more than appropriate when you consider the Founders considered a militia of “the whole people” to be “necessary to the security of a free state,” and that undermining that security only works to the advantage of enemies foreign and domestic.

It didn’t help that a supposed “originalist,” the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, took it on himself to volunteer in the Heller case that the Second Amendment] "is no limitation upon arms control by the states," and then to imply banning weapons such as "M-16 rifles and the like" would not be an infringement. Otherwise, he asserted, "it would mean that the National Firearms Act's restrictions on machineguns ... might be unconstitutional, machineguns being useful in warfare in 1939." Bingo! What the hell else would it be? Of course, we’re entitled to what the citizen disarmament traitors disparage as “weapons of war.” And there’s no “might” about it.

The earlier Miller decision recognized the militia as “all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense [and] bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.” Its function was – and still is – to field citizen soldiers. And these citizens bore arms that were suitable for that purpose, “ordinary military equipment” intended to be taken into “common defense” battles. The militia did not assemble on the green bearing torches and pitchforks. They came with the intent to match and best a professional military threat. To suggest the Framers of the Constitution meant anything else is to accuse them of being insane, and of codifying into the supreme Law of the Land that sending an ill-equipped citizenry to their slaughter was “necessary to the security of a free State.”

This is where the High Court’s recent Bruen decision, rejecting means-end scrutiny and instead embracing a requirement for “courts to assess whether modern firearms regulations are consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding,” can be so helpful — if properly interpreted and applied. So, naturally, the leftwing states with virtually unlimited legal resources are testing it with wholly unconstitutional mandates designed to delay with injunctions and appeals and in-your-face defiance designed to drag out for years before anything is “resolved.” Then lather, rinse, repeat. 

Meanwhile, the Democrats are working at full tilt to invite in more illegal immigration so that they can then open up a pathway – scratch that – superhighway to citizenship with millions of grateful (and dependent!) new voters who will overwhelmingly favor Democrats and anti-gunners, resulting in supermajorities in state and federal legislatures that will then be able to pass whatever anti-gun edicts they want while confirming judges who will uphold those edicts (and reverse gains made to date). Or help them “pack the court,” whichever they think will work best.

Funny, isn’t it, how none of the major gun groups will even mention that, or how when pressed they all fall back on a phony “single issue” excuse that does nothing to keep it from happening? No doubt about it, Bruen gave gun owners some breathing room, but to consider it the final word is negligently naïve at best. To paraphrase John Paul Jones, we have not yet begun to fight, at least in earnest. And we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Read David Cordrea's article on Trump's actual effort with the 2nd Amendment here. 

About the Author

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms News  he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook. 

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