The assault weapons ban was enacted in 1994 to prevent the manufacturing of semi-automatic firearms and weapons that could hold more than 10 rounds. It also focused on the transfer and possession of assault weapons.

Is It Legal to Possess an Assault Weapon?

The federal ban on assault weapons expired in 2004. This makes it legal to possess an assault weapon. However, some states still have laws regulating the sale and possession of assault weapons. These states include California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.

What Assault Weapons Can I Buy?

People can purchase one of the 19 assault weapons that were banned in 1994. These weapons include rifles with characteristics such as:

  • Pistol grip
  • Telescoping stock
  • Grenade launcher
  • Bayonet mount
  • Flash suppressor

They also include hand guns with the following characteristics:

  • Weighs at least 50 ounces when unloaded
  • Possesses a threaded barrel made to attach a flash suppressor, barrel extender, or handgrip
  • Has a barrel shroud that an individual can use as a handhold

Also included in that group are shotguns with characteristics such as:

  • Pistol grip
  • Telescoping stock
  • Capacity to hold more than five rounds of ammunition

Can Gun Control Laws Stop Me from Purchasing Assault Weapons?

Yes. It is true that the ban no longer prohibits the sale and possession of assault weapons in general. However, federal and state gun control laws may still prohibit the sale and possession of certain assault weapons. Gun control laws heavily regulate the sale and possession of all firearms.

Can I Carry an Assault Weapon in Public?

Whether a person can carry an assault weapon in public depends on state law. Many states do allow someone to carry a concealed weapon in public.

Can I Be Charged with Gun Possession If I Have an Assault Weapon?

Whether an individual can be charged with gun possession for having an assault weapon depends on:

  • The individual knowingly has the gun in their possession
  • The possessor of the gun does not have a legal license to own the assault weapon

Do I Need Legal Help with Regard to Assault Weapons?

The area of law governing assault weapons is constantly changing in response to changing attitudes towards gun control. Thus, it is easy to become mistaken about a particular gun law and end up being charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon. Contact a criminal lawyer to understand state and federal laws regarding assault weapons to make sure that you are abiding by the applicable laws or to assist you in defending against charges for violating those laws.