Argument: Assault weapons are military caliber not suited for home protection

Issue Report: Assault weapons ban in the United States


“… assault weapons utilize military features useful in combat, but which have no civilian purpose. Assault weapons are exceedingly dangerous if used in self defense, because the bullets many of the weapons fire are designed to pass through humans and will pass through structures, and therefore pose a heightened risk of hitting innocent bystanders. As Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police has explained: “An AK-47 fires a military round. In a conventional home with dry-wall walls, I wouldn’t be surprised if it went through six of them.”37 No one would want a bullet fired in self defense to penetrate a home’s walls, where it could strike bystanders in neighboring homes.

High capacity magazines containing more than 10 rounds, which were also banned as part of the Federal Assault Weapons Act, are also not useful for self defense, as law enforcement expert Leonard J. Supenski has testified:

“The typical self-defense scenario in a home does not require more ammunition than is available in a standard 6-shot revolver or 6-10 round semiautomatic pistol. In fact, because of potential harm to others in the household, passersby, and bystanders, too much firepower is a hazard. Indeed, in most self-defense scenarios, the tendency is for defenders to keep firing until all bullets have been expended.”36

Assault weapons were designed for military use. They have no legitimate use as self defense weapons.”