Last updated on: 3/6/2024 | Author:

Should the U.S. Ban Assault Weapons?

A 1994 federal law that banned assault weapons expired in 2004 and has not been renewed by Congress so no federal assault weapons ban currently exists. 10 states and D.C., have a version of an assault weapon ban, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. For more on gun control, explore the ProCon debate.

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Assault Weapons,” (accessed Nov. 9, 2023)

PRO (yes)


Joe Biden:

“We have to do more to stop gun violence. It’s ripping our communities apart, ripping the soul of this nation — ripping at the very soul of the nation. And we — we have to do more to protect our schools so they aren’t turned into prisons. You know, the shooter in this situation [the Mar. 27, 2023 mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee] reportedly had two assault weapons and a pistol — two AK-47. So I call on Congress, again, to pass my assault weapons ban. It’s about time that we begin to make some more progress.”


White House, “Remarks by President Biden at the SBA Women’s Business Summit,”, Mar. 27, 2023


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr:

“If we can get a consensus on it, if Republicans and Democrats agree to it and it passes Congress, I would sign it [an assault weapons ban].”


Hanna Trudo, “RFK Jr. Argues Gun Control Cannot ‘Meaningfully’ Reduce Gun Violence,”, June 28, 2023

CON (no)


Donald Trump:

“I certainly stand by my opposition to Gun Control when it comes to taking guns from law-abiding citizens. You mention that the media describes the AR-15 as an ‘assault rifle,’ which is one example of the many distortions they use to sell their agenda. However, the AR-15 does not fall under this category. Gun-banners are unfortunately preoccupied with the AR-15, magazine capacity, grips, and other aesthetics, precisely because of its popularity.

To the Left every gun is an assault weapon.

Gun control does not reduce crime. It has consistently failed to stop violence. Americans are entitled to protect their families, their property and themselves.”

Editors’ Note: In his 2005 book, The America We Deserve, Trump expressed support for assault weapons bans: “I generally oppose gun control but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”


Fredy Riehl, “Donald Trump Talks: Gun Control, Assault Weapons, Gun Free Zones & Self Defense,”, July 7, 2015