SAFE Act Proves ‘Assault Weapons’ Are Just Rifles by Another Name

By AWR Hawkins

Feinstein assault weapons ban
SAFE Act Proves ‘Assault Weapons' Are Just Rifles by Another Name
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(  The “assault weapons” ban contained in Governor Andrew Cuomo's (D) SAFE Act has finally proven a point gun rights advocates have been trying to make for decades–that the moniker “assault weapons” is just a cosmetically-based description applied to an entire class of firearms that gun control proponents want to demonize.

NBC 4 New York notes that, despite the ban, “some critics say one part of the law – the assault rifle ban – is not effective because new models being made to comply with the law are almost entirely the same as those that were banned.”

Following the ban, manufacturers simply removed the cosmetic features that gun control advocates demonize most: “bayonet mounts, flash suppressors and telescoping stocks.” Additionally, “rifles cannot have a pistol grip.” Manufacturers then started legally selling the reconfigured AR-15s to New Yorkers.

And the guns without the flash suppressors and other features still fire 5.56 or .223 ammunition at the same velocity via the same semi-automatic mechanism they always had. This is because an AR-15 (or similar gun dubbed an “assault weapon”) is, at its base, just a semi-automatic rifle that the left has labeled as something more for decades.

National Review‘s Charles C. W. Cooke put it this way:

For the last damn time, “assault weapon” is a purely invented term,designed by politicians to mislead the public into thinking consumers can buy machine guns at Wal-Mart. They can't. In the political world at least, “assault weapon” means nothing more than “semi-automatic rifle that has a few cosmetic features that we do not like.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins .

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America's Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA's Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected] You can find him on facebook at

  • 9 thoughts on “SAFE Act Proves ‘Assault Weapons’ Are Just Rifles by Another Name

    1. @TexStan – Not an ‘assault weapon’ until someone is found using one to commit a crime. ‘Repurposed’ kitchen utensils end up on a ‘watch list’ like pressure cookers.

    2. This is the problem with “reasonable gun control”. It is a fallacy that gun control will reduce crime or curb violence; it will never achieve the stated goals of the proponents. When it fails their answer is always to take it further, and further, and further.

    3. Assault weapon did not exist for firearms before the Democrats invented the term in the early 1980s to attack semi-auto military lookalikes. However an assault weapon may be defined by a prosecutor in a criminal case as any object in which that particular and distinct object was used to harm or kill a human. so hit your wife with that spatula and ya got an assault weapon. Aren’t democrats fun?

    4. @Chuck, drugs have nothing to do with the scary look of Diane and Nancy. Nature took care of that, and then some. They think that AR15s have a mind of their own, I wish the next one she picks up turns and shoot her in her face.

      1. @Chuck, Diane, and Nancy, are way more dangerous that any rifle on the market. That virus needs to be eradicated as soon as possible.

    5. Those who oppose the RKBA invented the term “assault weapon” in an effort to misinform & scare non gun owners into believing the streets are awash with machine guns.
      Anyone using the term should be challenged to explain what they mean by it.
      I’m sure the bluster & BS will run fast & deep.

    6. The goal of these “anti-gun” crusaders is to expand the definition of “assault weapon” to any gun that “could be” used in a criminal assault. The operative words in these ever expanding definitions being “could be”.

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