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September 13, 2004

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead! The sun sets on the assault weapons ban!

Breaking News

For September 13, 2004
Semiautomatic Assault Weapon Update

By statute, the prohibitions relating to semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices expired on September 13, 2004. As a result, certain sections of the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, and its implementing regulations, 27 CFR Part 478, are no longer in effect.

David Kopel observes in NRO today:

At midnight tonight, the federal ban on so-called "assault weapons" expires. As a constitutional moment, the expiration is as significant for the Second Amendment as the March 3, 1801, expiration of the Alien and Sedition Acts was for the First Amendment. These federal laws were not found unconstitutional by any court, but the laws expired in disgrace because our political system, as expressed through congressional elections, determined them to be infringements on the Bill of Rights.

As detailed by Leonard Levy in his book Origins of the Bill of Rights, the political defeat of the Alien and Sedition Acts resulted in a much broader, more speech-protective understanding of the First Amendment. It is possible that that the political defeat of the gun prohibition will have a similar effect.

Of course, the Assault Weapons Ban wasn't really about those bad evil AK look-alikes. It was about this:

In an April 5, 1996, column in the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer, who forthrightly supports total gun prohibition, wrote, "Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic — purely symbolic — move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation."

Huzzah to all of you who fought the good fight!

Walking the Walls
Geek with a .45
Kim du Toit
The Smallest Minority

and many, many, many others. If you want to get added to this list, just drop me a line (and point to a gun-loving post). I know I haven't even gotten close to listing everybody...

Now I'll have to go check on the upswing of drive-by bayonetings and rifle grenadings.

Because as Dr. Timothy Wheeler points out (also on NRO) - it ain't over yet. It ain't really ever over for the nanny-staters.