Sen. Feinstein and 34 Democrats Introduce Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 Targeting 205 Firearms

Senate Democrats led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), introduced the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2021” that would prohibit 205 types of firearms, magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition (“large capacity magazines”) and bump stocks.


The bill grandfathers the existing weapons allowing owners to keep them. However, new transfers would be subject to background checks.

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The determining features for the new category called “semiautomatic assault weapon” includes rifles with any of the following features:

  • A detachable magazine

  • Pistol grip

  • Forward grip

  • A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock

  • Threaded barrel

  • Barrel shroud

  • Is foldable or adjustable that it could be reduced in length or other dimensions for concealability

  • Accepts more than ten rounds except one with attached tubular device accepting only .22 caliber.

Other features include pistol variants of semiautomatic rifles, stabilizing braces, pistols with fixed magazines accepting more than ten rounds, and shotguns accepting more than five rounds. The full list of features and affected firearms can be viewed here.


“It’s been 17 years since the original Assault Weapons Ban expired, and the plague of gun violence continues to grow in this country,” Sen. Feinstein said. “To be clear, this bill saves lives. When it was in place from 1994-2004, gun massacres declined by 37 percent compared with the decade before. After the ban expired, the number of massacres rose by 183 percent.”


Contrarily, the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) admitted that the bill was a failure. It did not lead to any detectable reduction in crimes including the lethality and injuriousness of the related injuries.


Similarly, Duke University public policy experts Philip Cook and Kristin Goss found that “There is no compelling evidence that it saved lives.” Similarly, the ban was ineffective in preventing crimes committed using banned “assault weapons” at the state level.


However, it widely violated the constitutional rights of millions of law-abiding Americans who were left unable to use their weapon of choice for self-defense.

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