Obama Won’t Reinstate Assault Weapons Ban

When asked today during his daily briefing if President Obama would reinstate the assault weapons ban, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs made it clear that Obama was looking at other strategies, such as hiring more police officers, instead of reinstating the ban on assault weapons.

Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:

In answer to Helen Thomas’s question about reinstating the ban, Gibbs said, “Obviously, we, while we were overseas last week, were surprised and shocked at the news at what had happened in New York. … That’s one of the reasons that increased money to hire more police officers as in the Recovery Act. I was asked specifically about assault weapons. I think the president would — the president believes there are other strategies we can take to enforce the laws that are already on our books.”

This new position is in direct contrast to an ABC News story in late February that Obama was seeking a new assault weapons ban. Last night on CBS News Attorney General Eric Holder said that he looks forward to working with the NRA, and would not endorse bringing back the assault weapons ban. Obama’s new position is bound to upset many anti-gun Democrats, because then candidate Obama campaigned strongly on reinstituting the assault weapons ban during the 2008 Democratic primaries.

Even though the White House website still mentions reinstituting the ban, the administration seems close to abandoning the idea. At a time when Obama should be focused on the economy, reviving the assault weapons ban issue would only serve as a distraction. If Obama does decide not to revive the ban, it would be a major blow to his critics on the right, who have been spreading rumors that Obama is out to take everyone’s guns away.

By reading between the lines, it is clear that, as much as it may anger those on the left, Obama has no intention of bringing back the ban. It must be pointed out that none of the recent civilian shootings in states like New York and Alabama were carried out with an assault weapon. The ban is more symbolic than it is effective in reducing violence. I agree with the White House that there are better ways to reduce violence than banning assault weapons. If disturbed people want to kill, they will find a way to kill whether assault weapons are legal or banned.

43 Replies to “Obama Won’t Reinstate Assault Weapons Ban”

  1. “It must be pointed out that none of the recent shooting have been carried out with an assault weapon.”

    Not true, an AK-47 was used in the recent Oakland slaying of four police officers. A Bushmaster AR-15-style assault rifle and an SKS assault rifle were used in Alabama. “…of the 42 murders in Orlando last year, five involved assault weapons, including the triple-murder at The Palms Apartments.” The list goes on and on.

    Not that I favor the gov’t “banning” anything, just pointing out how blatantly false that statement is.

  2. I don’t consider the police shootings in Oakland and Pittsburgh to be mass murders. When I was referring to mass shooting, the recent civilian incidents are what I was referring to. Officers shot in the line of duty are technically not mass murders, but your point is well taken as there is a difference between mass murders and mass shootings.

  3. By definition, an assault rifle is select fire. That is, it has the option of firing more than one bullet with a single pull of the trigger. These are not normally available in the US, though Mexican drug gangs import them from Iran and North Korea on a regular basis.

    NONE of the weapons used were assault rifles. The term has been hijacked by the gun grabbers as a way to frighten the ignorant and stupid.

  4. Not only is SKS not an “assault rifle,” it was never affected by the last AWB. And guess what? The Oakland police officers were killed by a pistol and the “SKS Automatic Assault Rifle.”

    So.. now you’re down to one rifle and your claim that “the list goes on and on.” Gee, maybe assault weapons aren’t actually used that often.

  5. Actually, moron, labeling something as an “assault weapon” has nothing to do with select fire. Select fire weapons are class 3 weapons and are highly controlled in the US. An “assault weapon” was the term the government used in the last ban to describe ANY weapon that had more than 2 features on the no-no list, such as a detachable high capacity magazine, a bayonet, a flash hider, a folding or collapsible stock, a vertical grip in the front, or a pistol grip in the back. As to the other poster, an SKS was actually considered an assault weapon as it can be modified to accept a detachable high capacity mag, and they have bayonet lugs and flash suppressors

  6. All of the weapons mentioned are semi-automatic , “assault rifles” if they have the same features as their military counterparts such as mentioned above.

  7. As evidenced above arguments, the definition of “assault weapon” is arbitrary, one reason why the AWB had little effect.

    There is no such thing as an assault weapon. They are machine guns, semi-automatics, pistols, rifles, etc.

  8. It’s funny how a conversation will always have someone chime in thinking they know absolutely everything and putting down those who voice opinions on the subject instead of kindly educating them. You sir, are the moron.

  9. “assault weapon” is a “male bovine excrement” legal construct used to describe self loading rifles.

    Honestly, even if .GOV ever did manage to permanent ban certain firearms or all firearms for that matter, it is simply cheaper for someone to go into Walmart of Home Depot and buy a cheap Chinese machete, go outside start swinging at random people like a mad man.

  10. One of the many reasons our founders saw fit to include the Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights, was as a safeguard against future tyranny, both foreign and domestic. That’s why the first clause of the amendment states a militia, or military purpose.
    Let’s be perfectly clear. The problem isn’t that the Second Amendment isn’t working. It’s just that it doesn’t work well enough in states that infringe on the right. The nutcase in Binghamton, NY somehow had a pistol permit, but in NY that’s rare and arbitrary.
    If Binghamton, NY were located an hour South in “shall issue” Pennsylvania, the chance that an ordinary law abiding citizen could have shut down this miscreant’s rampage would have been exponentially greater.
    No gun restriction is ever going to prevent a person, who is bent on evil, from accomplishing his ill will. Anyone capable of brutal murder is so far beyond having any concern for a weapons law as to make the point mute. We are wasting valuable time and energy proposing laws which a criminal is in the business of ignoring. These futile efforts amount to re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic. We ought to be looking at the real causes of violence, hate, anger, disenfranchisement, poverty, ignorance and the empathy and compassion that too many in this generation seem to lack.
    The Second Amendment is, first and foremost, an insurance policy for Americans to prevent the possibility of future tyranny. There is the argument that no handguns, rifles or shotguns are going to keep a government from becoming tyrannical. The Supreme Court weighed in on this in June 2008.
    As Justice Scalia put it recently in the Heller vs. D.C. decision: “It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right. ”
    The government has clearly shown that over time, it develops a greater willingness to infringe on 1st (Speech), 2nd (Bearing Arms) and 4th (Search and Seizure), but it’s doubtful that our government may have the stomach to infringe on these rights, when doing so requires them to turn their arms against a law abiding, armed populace.
    In short, so-called assault weapons in the hands of law abiding folks (and yes, there are millions of them) act as the final gatekeeper which secures and protects the rest of the guarantees enumerated in the Bill of Right for our great-grandchildren.
    There is reassuring irony in the fact that the exercise of the right virtually guarantees that it will never be needed for one of it’s most important purposes, to prevent the future tyranny of government.

  11. I want to thank you for your nice wording here. I have to agree with you 100%. I am a weapon owner and collector. I have a number of weapons in my home and the right to carry. Now just because of the weapons I own and shoot does not make me in anyway more apt to go out and start shooting/killing innocent people. To be honest I hope I never have to use any of my weapons in self defense. I have been trained by the military and if I ever had to I would pull the trigger to protect my self, family, country, or even someone else that I don’t even know. Almost all the people in this country that buy the weapons legally feel the same way and have no intention of owning or using them for illegal reasons.

  12. The term “assault weapon” is one invented by politicians. An “assault rifle” by definition is one that fires an intermediate rifle round such as 5.56×45, 7.62×39, 5.45×39, or 7.92×33 and has a select-fire capability. The term originates from WWII and the German MP44 which Hitler chistened the “Sturmgewher” which translates to “assault rifle.” Any firearm which does not both fire an intermediate rifle round and have fully automatic fire capability is, by the original definition, not an assault rifle. Like so many others, the term “assault weapon” is one invented by politicians to justify idiotic laws.

  13. The guy in Oakland was a felon and should not have had any gun. Also, there is an assault weapon ban in California. So we have a felon in possesion of an illegal weapon. Just shows that the laws don’t stop criminals.

  14. Why my first instinct is one of relief, I refuse to allow myself any more than “cautiously optimistic.”

    One question I have is why Obama and his people should be believed. They promised to reinstate the ban during the campaign, and said they were pursuing other strategies now. Either way, it would appear he broke his word to someone, which means all law-abiding gun owners still have reason to be pessimistic as to the trustworthiness of our Commander and Chief.

    The bottom line is that the “assault” on our “weapons” is far from over. Gun owners would be well advised to remain vigilant. This can only be seen as good news, but is also proof positive that politicians make a living going back on their word.

  15. […] Host Bob Schieffer pointed out that the NRA disputes the Mexican government’s statistics, and when pressed, Sarukhan could not clearly explain where his government is getting their data. Obama has already made it clear that his administration will not be bringing back the ban. The sense is that there is no need for him or Congress to wade into this issue, when many Congressional Democrats are against the ban. In addition, Democrats do not want to give Republicans an issue to run on in the 2010 midterm election. The administration won’t be reinstating the ban. […]

  16. There is no such thing as an “Assault Weapon” It is a term invented by the media and politicians to strike fear into the general public.

    And Assault Rifle is a rifle capable of fully automatic fire. That means with a single pull of the trigger the magazine will empty itself of all of the rounds it contains.

    Currently it is illegal to own such a weapon. They are already “Banned”.

    A rifle that is only capable of semi-automatic fire is not an Assault Rifle. A semi-automatic rifle will only expend a single round with each pull of the trigger. No more than that.

    The term Assault Rifle is a catagory. What the weapon looks like doesn’t come into play at all. So a semi-automatic AK-47 or AR-15, or SKS is a plain old rifle. Only when one of these rifles is capable of fully automatic fire are they Assault Rifles.

  17. I recently completed a research paper about how Gun Control affects our crime rates and I was shocked by what I learned. Since 1991 over 70 million guns have been sold and a corresponding drop in violent crimes at 39%. And states that have enacted a RIGHT TO CARRY law (thus arming responsible citizens) have enjoyed an additional 22% drop in violent crime as well. Most anti-gun people are going to get all mad and trash this but I invite you to look at the FBI’s 2005 report on violent crime in America and see how less gun control has resulted in lower crime. On a final note, the states with the highest amount of gun control also has the highest murder rate. Weird eh.

    Off to go get my concealed carry permit and buy another SKS.

    Amerital

  18. According to guncite.com

    “Assault weapons are used in about one-fifth of one percent (.20%) of all violent crimes and about one percent in gun crimes. It is estimated that from one to seven percent of all homicides are committed with assault weapons (rifles of any type are involved in three to four percent of all homicides). However a higher percentage are used in police homicides, roughly ten percent.”

    So no, assault weapon use isn’t that common, but my criticism that the article contained a false statement still stands. I’m not advocating taking guns away from anyone, just making a point.

  19. “Not true, an AK-47 was used in the recent Oakland slaying of four police officers. A Bushmaster AR-15-style assault rifle and an SKS assault rifle were used in Alabama. “…of the 42 murders in Orlando last year, five involved assault weapons, including the triple-murder at The Palms Apartments.” The list goes on and on.”

    An SKS is not an “assault weapon” or an “assault rifle” even under the definition used in the ban. In stock configuration it lacks both a detachable magazine and a pistol grip. Standard magazine capacity is 10 rounds, so even that is in keeping with the ban which allowed 10 round and under magazines even if they were detachable. It generally has a bayonet and lug for same but that alone does not make it an “assault rifle” and since I have never heard of anyone being bayoneted in a crime I have never been able to figure out just exactly what about a bayonet lug makes a weapon desirable to criminals, hence I have never understood the impetus behind making a bayonet lug a banned feature. But then I think logically, something which completely eludes 90% of politicians and at least 70% of the American public.

    Using your numbers 5 of 42 homicides is just under 12%. Hardly an argument for renewing the ban even if it wasn’t a flagrant violation of the 2nd amendment. Worse, nationally, consistently fewer than 4% of homicides are committed with rifles of any type, including the so called “assault rifles” which were banned. Such a small percentage of criminal use means that any law that attempts to substantially reduce crime by banning the weapons in question is worthless. The assault weapons ban was a meaningless feel good law intended to comfort a generally gullible and sheep like public willing to trade large amounts of freedom for the illusion of safety.

  20. “And Assault Rifle is a rifle capable of fully automatic fire. That means with a single pull of the trigger the magazine will empty itself of all of the rounds it contains.

    Currently it is illegal to own such a weapon. They are already “Banned”.”

    Incorrect. Under federal any many states laws it is perfectly legal to own a fully automatic weapon. As long as you abide by the National Firearms Act i.e. pay the tax stamp etc.

  21. “All of the weapons mentioned are semi-automatic , “assault rifles” if they have the same features as their military counterparts such as mentioned above.”

    AFAIK the term “assault rifle” is not defined in federal law. The term “assault weapon” is. In the small arms industry “assault rifles” are generally considered to be rifles capable of both semi and full auto fire, feeding from a detachable large capacity magazine, chambering an intermediate powered rifle cartridge. The use of the term “assault rifle” to refer to a semi-auto only weapon is, to virtually any person knowledgeable about small arms, incorrect. The average gun control advocate knows nothing about small arms other than that their appearance frightens him or her, thus it’s no surprise that gun control advocates frequently incorrectly use the term.

  22. But he wants other things more. “Universal” health care AKA socialized medicine, environmental “reform” i.e. burdensome and generally useless CO2 emission caps that won’t do anything but double your power bill etc. The ban is a relatively low priority only to be attempted if doing so won’t jeopardize his higher priority agenda items or the congressional majorities needed to ram them through. When or if you will see a hard White House push depends on the success of the rest of the agenda. It also will probably not happen in an election year. If it doesn’t happen this year it’s probably off the table until 2011. If his out of control deficit spending further kills the economy or simply prevents it from recovering (likely) and his popularity crashes you won’t see it at all.

  23. I cannot believe this is real, when they banned full autos back in 1934, I thought that was bad. Now ban semi? This goes back to the pure hatred of firearms. The rate of fire on a M16 ( 750-900) rpm, is much more than the amount that a quick trigger fingered man. I am still mad about the fuss over black talon and the bull that they were armor piercing. The weapons that use.30-06 and other rifle rounds are high velocity and can penetrate body armor. Body armor is meant for pistol rounds. I would love to see how the liberals would react if the tragedy in Pittsburgh played out with the goddamn racist using a full auto AK. Big Difference. That fool is to dumb to know that he is only hurting the cause.

    I think the NRA should help sponsor a commercial showing the difference of a M16 and a AR-15. This would show the people the difference. I think that this is something the nra should look into. We cannot afford a permanent semi auto ban.

  24. […] April, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs signaled that President Obama has no interest in reviving the assault weapons ban. At the times Gibbs said, “I was asked specifically about assault weapons. I think the president […]

  25. The last ban was describe ANY weapon that had more than 2 features on the no-no list, such as a detachable high capacity magazine, a bayonet, a flash hider, a folding or collapsible stock, a vertical grip in the front, or a pistol grip in the back. As to the other poster, an SKS was actually considered an assault weapon as it can be modified to accept a detachable high capacity mag, and they have bayonet lugs and flash suppressors.

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  26. Just what we expected from Obama, when he said we did not need to worry about him going after our 2nd amendment rights. He did not give us his “interpetation” of what our 2nd amendment rights are. Apparently they are subject to change at his whim or his Attorney General. Ray Ban Eyeglasses

  27. Obama has chosen to get advice from the “brady bunch” I don’t believe he has asked for input from the NRA. OPPS I forgot the NRA is a lobby group, and brady is not??? R..i..g..h..t.. Does Obama know that California is going to do a early release of thousands of convicts per a court order. ANZ Credit Card

  28. AFAIK the term “assault rifle” is not defined in federal law. The term “assault weapon” is. In the small arms industry “assault rifles” are generally considered to be rifles capable of both semi and full auto fire, feeding from a detachable large capacity magazine, chambering an intermediate powered rifle cartridge. The use of the term “assault rifle” to refer to a semi-auto only weapon is, to virtually any person knowledgeable about small arms, incorrect.

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  29. When or if you will see a hard White House push depends on the success of the rest of the agenda. It also will probably not happen in an election year. If it doesn’t happen this year it’s probably off the table until 2011. If his out of control deficit spending further kills the economy or simply prevents it from recovering (likely) and his popularity crashes you won’t see it at all.

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  30. Pussy ass moronic democrats make me vomit…i’m buying my guns…when the N.W.O. and bankers come into power and I head for the hills…stay the fuck out of my way…pussy ass democrats, you will be the first to go down.

  31. The Left do want to remove over firearms, they are very sneaky. Don’t believe that obama is simply not going to reinstate the ban, he may ever well. Guns are a choice, a right, handed down from 1776. I do love this country, but not for what our president is doing. Might you, he is not my president. Never will be. My choice was Mitt Romney.

  32. Don’t threaten them with arms, not yet. Not until they truely do try to remove them. When the introduce the military police and citizen armies, we can fight them. We will sacrfice a little for a victory oh so sweet.

  33. His popularity will not fall, not for a while. Our first black president…We were not ready for it, but against better judgement we picked him. I didn’t have time to vote but Romney would’ve been my pick

  34. The Brady Bill should be reinstated, with select changes. People who buy guns, why worry? So what if they keep a file on you for 18 months. This is necessary for safety. Believe in it. It’ll be handy one day

  35. , I thought that was bad. Now ban semi? This goes back to the pure hatred of firearms. The rate of fire on a M16 ( 750-900) rpm, is much more than the amount that a quick trigger fingered man. I am still mad about the fuss over black talon and the bull that they were armor piercing. The weapons that use.30-06 and other rifle rounds are high velocity and can penetrate body armor. Body armor is meant for pistol rounds. I would love to see how the liberals would react if the tragedy in Pittsburgh played out with the goddamn racist using a full auto AK. Big Difference. That fool is to dumb to know that he is only hurting the cause.

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  36. Well it must be pointed out that none of the recent civilian shootings in states like New York and Alabama were carried out with an assault weapon. The ban is more symbolic than it is effective in reducing violence.

  37. @dantebronto,

    actually these weapons were NOT fully automatic. This, in turn, means they were NOT assault rifles.

    these means you are the one making blatantly false statements.

    sorry man

  38. The states with the highest amounts of gun control “has” the lowest murder rates? What does that mean? Besides the fact that it’s grammatically wrong, it’s absolutely too vague, too cryptic, to be anything near factually right. Here’s a fact: The states with capital punishment have a murder rate almost twice that of the states without the death penalty. As well, the Bible Belt states have higher divorce rates.

  39. Although 3 months after the fact, I just couldn’t help myself. Kevin, you chose to correct grammar, however, you fail to understand content. Read Amerital’s post again. It states……”less” gun control has resulted in lower crime. Thus, fewer gun laws (or restrictions) have helped law abiding citizens better protect themselves resulting in less crime. Nothing grammatically incorrect by what Amerital has written.

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