A State “Assault Weapons” Ban

S.939 would prohibit the ownership, transportation, or sale of “assault weapons” by private individuals in South Carolina. The term assault weapon is vaguely defined by the bill as “semi-automatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that are designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use. This term does not apply to firearms used for sport or hunting.”

Just like its now extinct federal counterpart, the assault weapons ban proposed by S.939 would prohibit the ownership of many firearms while continuing to allow the ownership of others that are equally deadly. The federal assault weapons was allowed to lapse in 2004 after a study by the Federal Department of Justice concluded “we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence…Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

In short, S.939 has the potential to severely curtail the rights of South Carolinians with its vague and potentially expansive restrictions, while doing little to nothing to improve their safety.

Related H.4440

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