The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

A Vote Smart Guide to the Assault Weapons Ban

2013 January 31

Oren Samet-Marram is a Research and VoteEasy Associate here at Project Vote Smart.  A graduate of Princeton University, he joined the organization in 2012. 

Recently, something called an “assault weapons ban” has been making major news. While you've likely heard of it, you might still have a few questions about the issue and its history. The new “assault weapons ban” is a proposal from some national politicians aimed at curbing gun violence. It can be hard to understand the issue itself with all of the political posturing, so if you want to know more, check out  We're sorting through the partisan rhetoric and getting you the facts. Our resources, include public statements, legislation summaries, endorsements, and provide a great overview. Here's a quick summary of the issue, including links to relevant info on our site:

Shortly after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) pledged to introduce legislation similar to the '94 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. See what she had to say on December 30th. Feinstein was the sponsor of the original amendment instituting a ten-year ban on such firearms back in 1994. Read a summary of that legislation here.

President Obama endorsed the idea early last week by including it in his recommendations for addressing gun violence. To see the full recommendations, including his specific endorsement of a new “assault weapons ban,” check out his remarks from January 16th. The endorsement comes despite the Brady ...

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