One of my greatest frustrations within the gun control debate over the past year has been this one. The debate over “assault weapons”. Every time I’m presented with the vapid terminology, I ask the same question. What’s an “assault weapon”? The definition of assault is a physical attack. The definition of a weapon is a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage. By definition, a paper clip, a spoon or a remote control could be “assault weapons”. I’ve found through many discussions that those who advance the term seem to fall into three categories. Those who don’t know the difference from one gun to the next and don’t educate themselves about the differences. Those who can picture guns that they want to ban but don’t know what they’re called and don’t educate themselves about what they are. Lastly, those who really want to ban all guns but dishonestly hide behind the term hoping to get as much as possible banned in the process.
As frustrating as all of that is for someone who seeks clarity and honesty, we do have it defined based on the ban activists are collecting signatures on currently for the intention of getting it on Florida’s 2020 ballot. If you’re not familiar this is the language advanced by Ban Assault Weapons Now.
Ballot Language: Prohibits possession of assault weapons, defined as semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition-feeding device. Possession of handguns is not prohibited. Exempts military and law enforcement personnel in their official duties. Exempts and requires registration of assault weapons lawfully possessed prior to this provision’s effective date. Creates criminal penalties for violations of this amendment.
As of this week, they had 88,000 of the 766,200 signatures needed to potentially qualify for the 2020 ballot.
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