The words assault weapons and “large magazine” are often used in media attacks on firearm rights. The following are some facts from the NRA-ILA that give a different perspective on the issue.
Second Amendment – Firearms that gun control supporters call “assault weapons” and ammunition magazines that they call “large” are among the arms protected by the Second Amendment. Because they’re among the arms that are most useful for the entire range of defensive purposes, they’re “in common use” for defensive purposes, a standard articulated by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). This is true, regardless of which of gun control supporters’ ever-expanding definitions of “assault weapons” one uses. In 2015, Heller decision author Justice Antonin Scalia reiterated that the Second Amendment and Heller preclude “assault weapons” bans when he signed onto a dissent from the denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park.
More “assault weapons” and “large” magazines, less crime – From 1991, when violent crime hit an all-time high, to 2017, the nation’s total violent crime rate decreased 48 percent, including a 46 percent decrease in the murder rate. Meanwhile, Americans bought about 200 million new firearms, including more than eleven million AR-15s, and so many tens of millions of “large” handgun and rifle magazines that it seems pointless to attempt a count.
Different guns, same old tune – In the 1970s, gun control supporters predicted that crime would rise unless Congress banned all handguns. In the 1980s, they said the same thing about compact, small-caliber handguns. For a quarter-century, they’ve said the same thing about “assault weapons” and “large” magazines and Right-to-Carry laws under which people carry semi-automatic handguns and “large” magazines for self-defense. Every one of these predictions has been proven false. Nevertheless, they have expanded their definition of “assault weapon” to include virtually all semi-automatic shotguns and detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles, comparable handguns, and various fixed-magazine rifles, and continue to press for a ban on magazines.