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New Assault Weapons Ban Coming?

From Michael Bane, comes The Shooting Wire:

Democratic insiders are telling us the firearms industry will be used as an object lesson to both sides of the aisle.

To the left, it’s the always-popular smackdown of a group of right-wing loonies (that’s you and me, by the way) who want gunfights on the streets of our hometowns.

To the right, it will represent a little payback for the rhetoric that was taken very personally by the incoming administration. In other words, a little taste of the whip should keep both sides nicely in line.

In other words, last year’s unquestioned gun salesman of the year -Barack Hussein Obama – will turn his attention toward a group that has been unrelenting in opposing him throughout his political career.

When that happens, a billion-dollar industry will take another body blow.

Despite the new administration’s insistence that jobs and the economy will be the top priority beginning January 20, insiders say payback to the NRA and other pro-Second Amendment groups is high on the agenda. Democratic advisors say the Republican party is “disorganized, disheartened, and dissolving” and it’s a good time for the incoming administration to take them on in a core issue – the assault weapons ban is one of three topics they’re evaluating.

If the AWB is chosen, everyone expects a pitched battle with no quarter given.

If the attempt to pass this drastically-expanded AWB succeeds, the administration will have proven itself virtually unbeatable in matters of policy. They will also further fracture the Republican party and simultaneously serve notice on any pro-gun Democrats that they’d better get with the new program, too.

Last week, I spent a significant amount of time on the phone speaking with industry leaders about the word on the grapevine from Washington. There were mixed responses. One leader said his political advisors were hearing exactly the opposite- that the AWB was being pushed back to the “second Obama administration”. Another said his advisors were getting both reports, but considered an assault on firearms “inevitable” whether now, 2010 or later.

In other words, industry leaders see the fight in terms of “when” and not “if”.

I’ve been hearing mutterings about this from folks in the know. Seems the plan is to 1) cater to the left, which thus far Obama has abandoned now that he has won (doesn’t make much sense since ‘the left’ is not inherently anti-gun); and 2) teach us gun nuts a lesson for daring to oppose Obama for being anti-gun. Additional reasons include that the new administration will need some sort of dog and pony show since their only plan for dealing with the economy is to hope the press starts talking it up instead of down in late January. And the perception that the gun lobby is weak right now, coupled with the weakened Republican party, is bad for gun owners.

I’m thinking there are some Democrats who remember 1994 and will opt not to play along. Could be something, could be nothing. We’ll see. But call your reps.

Michael Bane has more.

26 Responses to “New Assault Weapons Ban Coming?”

  1. Joe Huffman Says:

    Tell your legislators to bring their (political) body bags to the party.

  2. Exurbankevin Says:

    So in order to prove how disorganized the GOP is, the Democrats are going to go after conservatives in the one area where we have a significant edge in both online and offline grass-roots organizations (

    Good luck with that.

  3. Rustmeister Says:

    I like how they say Obama’s got other things to look after, but what about Biden?

    Sounds like something he’d be really good at.

  4. Xrlq Says:

    I take it that by 1996 you mean 1994, right? Another thing for Obama to consider is that if he punishes us too soon by proving we were right, he’ll make his “fact-checking” allies look mighty stupid in the process.

  5. SayUncle Says:

    well, 1996 was when they lost a lot of seats.

  6. Jay G. Says:

    Actually, 1994 was when they lost a lot of seats. Republican Revolution, “Angry White Male”, etc.

  7. Jacob Says:

    It’s a bit early for the PSH.

  8. SayUncle Says:

    Itís a bit early for the PSH.

    And who is crapping their pants?

  9. Jacob Says:

    Bane. Big yellow warning Barack is going to attack as early as this month.

  10. Sean Braisted Says:

    Iím thinking there are some Democrats who remember 1994 and will opt not to play along.

    As you’ve pointed out before, opinion polls indicate that the Assault Weapons Ban was popular with the overwhelming majority of voters, including a majority of gun owners.

    I don’t think its particularly necessary at this point in time, but I hardly think its the political third rail that you assume it is.

  11. SayUncle Says:

    The majority doesn’t necessarily have the loudest voice in the political process. Thing about gun owners is they vote.

  12. Les Says:

    It may poll well, but it was political suicide for the Congressional Dems in ’94. In his autobiography Clinton lays the blame for the Dems’ electoral losses squarely at the feet of the Gore-backed AWB.

    Since 1994 the country seems to have become more pro-gun. The AWB was allowed to sunset, the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms passed, many states passed shall-issue concealed carry laws, the Supreme Court affirmed that the second amendment was an individual right, and in the wake of 9/11 and Katrina more Americans became interested in self-defense. It smells like a loser for the Dems.

  13. Sean Braisted Says:

    Thing about gun owners is they vote.

    And yet “the most anti-gun Presidential candidate in human history” was elected with more votes than any other Presidential candidate in American history.

    Funny how that works. The people who support the AWB by the largest margins, women, are the people who vote the most.

  14. SayUncle Says:

    Most gun guys didn’t vote for him. And the few that did did so because their unions lied to them. That said, while gun owners do vote, most voters don’t see guns as that big of an issue.

  15. Sean Braisted Says:

    Clinton lays the blame for the Demsí electoral losses squarely at the feet of the Gore-backed AWB.

    You expect Bill Clinton to take the blame for anything?

  16. Sean Braisted Says:

    That said, while gun owners do vote, most voters donít see guns as that big of an issue.


  17. BadIdeaGuy Says:

    I think there are a lot more people (myself included) since the mid-90’s who’ve had a conversion of thought toward pro-2A stances. I know a lot of guys who’ve bought or are thinking about buying “AW’s” who most folks wouldn’t suspect of being a gun nut.

    Unfortunately for the gun-grabbers, things they call “assault weapons” are far more mainstream than I think a lot of people appreciate.

  18. mariner Says:

    “Unfortunately for the gun-grabbers, things they call ‘assault weapons’ are far more mainstream than I think a lot of people appreciate.”

    Umm, no.

    Unfortunately for us.

  19. Oscar Says:

    So, where do the hunters (aka “Fudds”) and sports-only shooters (“sportsmen”) figure into all this?

    Based on what I saw before the election, I’m convinced that a substantial number of hunters/sportsmen voted for Obama because they’re sure he will never come after their “sport”. I am equally convinced that this same demographic will throw us under the bus when an AWB comes up for a vote. Obama’s people know this, and will utilize the re-establishment of an AWB to illustrate that gun owners can be divided (and hence conquered).

  20. Jurassic Says:

    Actually, yes. ARs have become accepted at excellent hunting and target rifles since the ban expired. Their following is many, many times bigger then it was back in 94.

    I think the reason they got so much ire from the first ban was because everyone knew it was unconstitutional. Even the guys who didn’t own the guns.

  21. emdfl Says:

    I predict that the first move will be an “executive order”(tyranny anyone?) that bans the import of foreign military surplus ammunition and foreign manufactured ammunition in “military” calibers. I also suspect that this might be the canary for the “3 percenters”.

  22. John H. Says:


    Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. If it does, let’s hope that those who decry the 3% are fortitudinous enough to join them.

  23. Annie Oakly Says:

    Why so serious? God created man, Sam Colt made ’em equal . . .

  24. bob r Says:

    “I also suspect that this might be the canary for the ď3 percentersĒ.”

    No, the canaries are all stone cold dead. It would be more like the spark that ignites the gas that killed the canaries.

    The “3 percenters” are calling for the ventilation system to be turned back on because without it there is going to be a _serious_ problem.

  25. Cormac Says:

    Contact my reps?
    I’ve got Joe Courtney, Joe Lieberman and Chris Dodd…how useless could my position be?

  26. Pro Gun Democrat Says:

    I don’t really see an assault weapons ban as a high priority for Obama’s presidency – he’s got MUCH bigger fish to fry, like the domestic economy, and healthcare, not to even mention Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Maybe an assault weapons ban for Afghanistan! Obama saw the backlash from his “clinging to guns and religion” comment, and I think he truly is more interested in bringing the country together in these times than finding lines to divide us. When there’s nothing else to do, Democrats think of gun control as a way to SEEM like they are tackling the problem of crime, but most intelligent people realize that social programs and a better economy do a lot more to help with crime than keeping guns out of the hands of legal owners. Lets face it, you know, and even the people in Washington know, 99.9 percent of crimes aren’t committed with legal guns, right? A better plan would be keeping guns out of the hands of children…