H. 3189 defines an “assault weapon” and alphabetizes the list of firearms in Section 16-23-210, makes a few grammatical changes, turns violations of Section 16-23-20 – the law making it illegal to possess a handgun unless one fits into one of the listed exceptions – into felonies instead of misdemeanors, and increases penalties for violating other handgun laws. This bill was introduced in 2009, 2011, and again in 2013. It has never even gotten a subcommittee hearing. It will most likely not get one this session, either.
A so called “assault weapon” is poorly defined in this bill, but is most likely limited to a semi automatic rifle or shotgun. The bill is poorly drafted because it uses “and” when describing the characteristics that make a firearm an “assault weapon” when the word “or” should have been used. Then, this bill provides that a so called “assault weapon” involved in the violation of the handgun laws – where no mention of an “assault weapon” otherwise exists – must be confiscated.
These so called “assault weapon” laws should be opposed because such weapons are simply modern semi automatic sporting rifles that only resemble fully automatic military weapons. But, the anti gun crowd and the mainstream media try to mislead the general public into believing that the weapons involved with these so called “assault weapon” laws are fully automatic weapons – which have been tightly regulated since 1934, even to the point of showing fully automatic weapons being fired while talking about these semi automatic so called “assault weapons.”
If the anti gun crowd successfully bans modern sporting rifles by intentionally confusing these semi automatic rifles with fully automatic military weapons and labeling them as “assault weapons,” then they will work to ban the traditional bolt action deer hunting rifle and scopes by labeling them as high powered “sniper rifles.”