HR 1808: Assault Weapons Ban on AK Rifles, AR-15s and Pistol Grips
Two weeks ago, Democrats on Capitol Hill succeeded in moving forward legislation that could infringe on your right to bear arms. H.R. 1808 - Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, is a bill that aims to prohibit importing, selling, manufacturing, transferring, or possessing an “assault weapon” or “large capacity ammunition feeding device”. This bill was introduced on 3/11/2021 by David Cicilline (D-RI) and on 7/29/2022, H.R. 1808 passed the House with a vote of 217-213. Due to the weapons ban of 2022, many Americans have wondered, are assault rifles banned in the United States? Many semi-automatic weapons could be banned due to H.R. 1808. This article will cover 4 things you need to know about HR 1808: the proposed ban of firearms, which politicians support disarming Americans, what common use items will be affected and what you can do to take action.
H.R. 1808 - Assault Weapons Ban of 2022 loosely defines an “assault weapon” as any semi-automatic weapon (pistol, rifle, or shotgun), with nearly any modern features. What counts as an assault weapon? The bill says all AK and AR type rifles, and lists hundreds of specific models including the Steyr AUG, FN PS90, and more. The term “assault weapon” is a vague, leftist buzzword that is twisted to fit nearly any definition the specific politician wants to label a common use firearm. The bill ostensibly targets weapons that have “the ability to accept a magazine/belt/drum/feed strip, and having any other feature like a threaded barrel, adjustable stock, pistol grip, foregrip”, or a GRENADE LAUNCHER…Yes, Congress is worried about you having a grenade launcher, so they’re banning it in this legislation while equivocating grenades to a threaded barrel. All under the guise of banning an “assault weapon”. This bill would heavily infringe on the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. H.R. 1808 also would outlaw “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” such as a magazine of more than 15 rounds (like Pmags). There are 434 million firearms currently in America, and numerous law-abiding citizens would fall under the definitions outlined in this bill. Look in your gun safe and check out the number of your guns that feature a barrel shroud, grip, or a threaded barrel. Adding to potential violations under H.R. 1808: there are also 150 million magazines that would succumb to this law.
What is Common Use?
In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects “arms ‘in common use at the time’ for lawful purposes like self-defense” such arms are “chosen by American society”. These tools should be considered to be within the common use of Americans. These items are so common, that we should compare them to another item you may own: a motor vehicle. There are 434 million firearms in the country and for comparison, there are 276 million cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, etc. Yes, there are more firearms than registered vehicles, making firearms as “common” as can be.
Let’s take a real-world application to the verbiage in H.R. 1808 and look at this common firearm.
This is a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch, it fires the 5.56 NATO round, has a capacity of 20 rounds, and would be legal under H.R.1808.
This is a Ruger Mini-14 Tactical, it fires the 5.56 NATO round, has a capacity of 20 rounds, and would be illegal under H.R.1808.
These two builds are nearly identical. The only difference between them is one has a threaded barrel, making it an “assault weapon” according to H.R. 1808. The non-threaded barrel model actually has a higher muzzle velocity, due to a slightly longer barrel, meaning greater terminal ballistics. The threaded barrel allows you to attach a suppressor, so it helps to protect your hearing and the hearing of people around you. Politicians have no measurable metric to indicate that a rifle with a threaded barrel poses any specific threat.
Let’s think about ARs and AKs. This is an ordinary firearm at gun ranges, hunting camps, and shooting competitions across the country.
Millions of responsible, law-abiding citizens currently own this rifle. This is the most popular rifle in America and as pictured, gun owners would violate H.R. 1808 in 5 different ways: adjustable stock, pistol grip, threaded barrel, barrel shroud, and magazine. “The MSR (AR/AK) remains the most-popular selling centerfire semi-automatic rifle in the United States today.” per the NSSF. There are more MSRs in circulation (24 million) today than there are Ford F-Series trucks (16.8 million) on the road.
Which Politicians Voted For H.R 1808?
As of August 2022, the United States Congress is composed of 220 Democrats and 211 Republicans, H.R. 1808 passed the house with a vote of 217-213. 215 Democrats supported this infringement, while only two Republicans voted in favor: Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Chris Jacobs (R-NY). (note: Gonzalez (R-OH) withheld his vote).
There are entities in the US that would be exempt from HR 1808. Those include: a department or agency of the United States, a department, agency, or political subdivision of a State, and law enforcement (whether on or off duty). Even if this bill passes, the aforementioned people will be allowed to continue to own and operate firearms deemed too dangerous for everyone else. The bill also exempts certain weapons including antique or inoperable firearms. That gun in a frame above your fireplace? Likely okay. Your every day carry in your holster? Maybe not. You may not be able to own or purchase weapons for common use but the FBI, ATF, DHS, local law enforcement, campus security, and even the Department of Agriculture will still have access to these weapons and more!
What Comes Next and How You Can Protect Your 2A Rights
H.R. 1808 passed the House and will now go to the Senate for another vote. Currently the Senate is composed of 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and 2 Independents. This bill would require 60 votes to pass, and would then go to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
When will the Senate vote on HR 1808? Currently, there is not a date set for the Senate to vote on H.R.1808. These politicians are taking a month-long recess from August 6 to September 6, 2022. A vote could take place after September 7, 2022.
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Many would consider banning some of the most common tools in the country to be an infringement. The Framers of the Constitution guaranteed civil liberties for the inalienable right to own weapons in the Bill of Rights.