The first Federal Assault Weapons Ban was enacted in 1994 and expired in 2004. A new Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 is being proposed. What are the disadvantages of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, if any? (Examples from the 1994 version that would apply to the new 2013 bill are welcome.)

  • Why are you assuming there are disadvantages?
    – yannis
    Nov 10, 2013 at 19:44
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    @Avi, absolutely. If someone could show that the previous 1994 law had no disadvantages, and the new law has the same (or very similar) provisions, I would find "no disadvantages" an acceptable answer.
    – user1873
    Nov 11, 2013 at 2:07
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    @user1873 - I edited to try and strike a more neutral tone - effectively, not presupposing that there are disadvantages, since you'll accept "none" as an answer.
    – Bobson
    Nov 11, 2013 at 4:02
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    Disadvantages for whom? The weapons producers may be in disadvantage due to revenue drop.
    – Anixx
    Nov 11, 2013 at 7:33
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    @NewAlexandria, the comment was specificly directed at Anixx's "weapon producers may be disadvantaged," I was just indicating that his assumption may not be likely.
    – user1873
    Nov 11, 2013 at 14:44

3 Answers 3


There are disadvantages to everything.

It's reasonable to assume that fewer assault weapons will be sold, which is a disadvantage if you are a manufacturer or dealer of assault weapons. It is possible that some may go out of business, or lay off workers. There might be some other negative effect on the economy - probably very small. Likewise those who organize recreational firing of assault weapons will either have to stop, or face more licensing restrictions.

If you are a person who wishes to own an assault weapon, then this ban curtails your ability to do so.

As is usual in politics, it is not a question of whether or not there are any disdvantages, but of balancing the advantages and the disadvantages.


This is the disadvantage of an "Assault Weapons Ban:"

  1. The AWB doesn't apply to criminals.

  2. It would create a Black Market, because anytime a product that's in demand gets banned, someone is going to step in to meet that demand. And with that demand comes a lot of bloodshed. Just look at the Prohibition and the War on Drugs.

  3. Doesn't solve a gun violence, because you can't legislate behavior. Just look at all the mass shootings. What's the common factor? They were social outcasts. And I refuse to call these "mass shootings," because it doesn't designate that the shooter hit/killed anything. So out of all the "mass murders/massacres," only one involved the use of an AR-15 (Aurora, Colorado).

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    Actually the AWB does apply to criminals. Some of them just disobey it. Sep 12, 2017 at 17:14
  • "Doesn't solve a gun violence, because you can't legislate behavior." is a standard false argument. Following that argument, what's the point of making murder illegal, since "you can't legislate behaviour". Murderers are just going to keep murdering. And the "Don't ban it because it would create a black market" would lead you to legalize child pornography, nuclear materials and heroin, because "otherwise you'll just have it on the black market". Sep 15, 2020 at 14:20

The primary disadvantage I've seen is that this bill includes no solution / countermeasure to also support the previous form of arms acquisition.

Such a countermeasure could come in the form of a licensure provision for owning the type of item whose general-ban is proposed.

E.G. the arms and arms-accessories could be moved into the Class C license, or a new class designed for this middle-ground.

In other words, this bill proposes to limit a constitutional right (remove aspects of its practice) without simultaneously proposing an alternative or remediative course of action for those that wish to maintain all allowed dimensions of said right.

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    You have a quote block in light orange, but no linked source that it belongs to. Where is the source of the quote? You are saying the disadvantage is that you cannot apply for a permit to own a gun banned by the Assault Weapon Ban 2014. Since it is impossible to get the government to permit you to do something that was previously legal, those people who do own those guns will be disadvantaged.
    – user1873
    Nov 11, 2013 at 14:47
  • I don't use quote blocks for literal quotations - just as a formatting element to highlight text. A code-block formatting seems out-of-place on this site Nov 11, 2013 at 16:00
  • but yes, to the second-half of your comment. That is what I am saying is the disadvantage Nov 11, 2013 at 16:01
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    I downvoted this answer, and I'll tell you Why. Coming into this question, I know pretty much nothing about the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, and After reading the answer, I still feel as though I know nothing of the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. Or, to put it another way, I generally expect to learn something from reading answers, and in this case I didn't Nov 11, 2013 at 16:30
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    @Bobson I've changed the text "remove" since that it's the way it should be straightforwardly-interpreted. The removal is only on certain facets of the practice of the right, as per your presidential-threat analogy. I have also changed "ownership" to "acquisition" Nov 11, 2013 at 18:00

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