Biden Plans to Ban AR-15 Style Rifles

White House press secretary Jen Psaki tells reporter that the Biden admin plans to sign executive orders to ban assault weapons.

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Smith and Wesson MP-15 Sport 2 AR15 style sporting rifle

Tyler Dortch, Editor-In-Chief

After a recent mass shooting in Boulder, CO, which killed 10 innocent people including a Boulder police officer, President Biden is considering using an executive to stop massacres from happening. In the United States, during the last 5 years, there have been around 29 mass shootings. A mass shooting as defined by The Violence Project is a shooting where at least four people were killed. 

House Democrats, as well as eight House Republicans, voted on the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, or H.R. 8 for short. H.R. 8 would consist of mandatory federal background checks between private gun sales, and would require a licensed FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer to oversee the transfer and conduct the background check. President Joe Biden is pressuring the Senate to vote on H.R. 8 in the wake of the mass shootings that have recently rocked the country. 

The President also called for bans on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons, but what do these terms even mean? A high-capacity magazine by definition is a magazine that holds more than the standard amount of ammunition provided by the designer or intended for the rifle. Although, in the United States any magazine above 10 rounds is considered a high-capacity magazine, which is ludicrous. Most pistol magazines hold more than ten, and most if not all sporting rifles hold more than 10 rounds.

The term “assault weapon” has been thrown around a lot in recent times, but what is an assault weapon? The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms define an assault weapon as a semi-automatic firearm with a detachable magazine. This definition of a firearm is so vague that it includes all pistols, all sporting rifles, and some shotguns. A majority of the people calling for restrictions to “assault-style weapons,” don’t even know what they are or how they work. 

Some people would classify AR-15 style sporting rifles as assault weapons just because of how they look, AR-15 style firearms look scary. They have large magazines, scopes, flash suppressors, telescopic stocks, and pistol grips. You could show these same people a Ruger Mini-14 and they wouldn’t classify it as an assault weapon, its wooden frame and lack of polymer make the rifle look less scary compared to the sleek black polymer of an AR-15.

President Joe Biden thinks that banning assault-style firearms would save lives, yet it would do nothing to prevent terrorism or other acts of violence from occurring. Most shootings are conducted with pistols, not sporting rifles. In 2019, around 39,407 people died from firearms according to the CDC. 23,941 of those deaths were by suicide and 14,414 died via homicide. Most of the homicide cases are just one of two people, and wouldn’t classify as a mass shooting. Only around 26% of mass shootings involved an AR-15 style sporting rifle according to a Newsweek analysis.

The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. In 2017, an attempted mass shooting was stopped by a good guy with a gun. A gunman opened fire at a church in Fort Worth, Texas, fatally injuring two before being shot dead by churchgoers defending themselves from the attack. Several members of the congregation were carrying firearms that day and stopped a mass shooting.

During a morning church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a man wearing tactical gear and holding an AR-15 stormed into a church and began firing at churchgoers. NRA firearms instructor, Stephen Willeford ran and grabbed his AR-15 and ran to the church and began to fire at the terrorist. Injuring him and forcing him to flee. “If I had run out of the house with a pistol and faced a bulletproof vest and kevlar and helmets, it might have been futile,” Willeford said. “I ran out with an AR-15 and that’s what he was shooting the place up with.”

If people would take the time to become educated about firearms and become more familiar with them people wouldn’t be as adamant to ban them. Most gun laws, especially in Colorado just annoy law-abiding gun owners and do nothing to stop crime or gun violence. AR-15 sporting rifles are excellent hunting weapons, home defense weapons, and are incredibly fun to shoot.