IMHO "Assault Weapons" Ban Is Not Unconstitutional

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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Nothing in the text of the 2nd Amendment says anything about banning guns based on looks. Frankly, the framers would have found your argument ridiculous.

On top of that, telling someone that they cannot own a firearm because it looks a certain way clearly is a violation of the 2nd Amendment in spirit if not in letter.

Your position is furthermore made tenuous by the fact that the ban on so-called "assault weapons" is no longer a law in this country, and clearly those elected officials who let the law lapse did so because they likely believed it to be unconstitutional*.

Furthermore, any attempt to pass such a gun control law would result in the law having to pass some form of legal scrutiny, which means that someone would have to present a compelling public safety argument as to why decorated guns are more dangerous than similar undecorated ones. (This would, of course, mean you'd have to figure out a way to prove how guns that are harmlessly decorated represent a greater public safety issue than plain old undecorated guns.)

Of course, none of us can cite chapter and verse case law on why such a ban would be an unconstitutional infringement, due to the fact that the OP has managed to come up with a scenario as unlikely as it is preposterous.

Frankly, bushmaster, you're doing nothing more than stirring the pot with one hand and smugly wanking into it with the other.

*Well, ok, some of them let it lapse because they knew that renewing it would result in the voters tossing them out of office.
Get this straight and get it now. The Constitution places limitations on the Government not the People. The Government has absolutely no authority to do what you propose.

Backassword thinking gone to seed, let's get serious and put the restraints back on the Government and not the People.
far as im concerned the ban is simply a way to get something away from us since they cant take it all all at once...yet or rather try. Brady bill and alot of other things are simply a compromise between all or none in my book for anti gun people.
The AWB wasn't just a ban on cosmetic features. People sure do have a short memory.

The AWB banned several makes and models. It also restricted magazine capacity to 10. You could have a magazine that looked like a standard magazine as long as it held 10 maximum. That isn't cosmetic. It's functional.

Also, parts such as pistol grips, and folding/collapsing stocks are also functional parts. Bayonet lugs are functional on most rifles(except for those 16" M4-fashioned AR15s).

It wasn't just a ban on appearance. To ban firearms due to their military lineage violates the very spirit and purpose of the Second Amendment. If those weapons are not permitted then you may as well declare the Second Amendment void.
I think this argument can be defeated much more simply. All guns have cosmetic features, color being one of them. If we allow them to ban pink guns, that means they can also ban black and brown ones, which makes up a considerable portion of guns. You're trying to argue that cosmetic is synonymous with useless or without purpose, which is not the case.
"Assault weapons" or "military style" weapons?

Hmm, the Henry lever action rifle was a military rifle. Perhaps we should ban all lever action rifles.

The bolt action rifle is a Mauser design, which was a military rifle, perhaps we should ban those too. No more bolt action rifles would make the world a safer place.

Oh, yeah, the muzzle loader musket. Those were military arms. No need for those so let's ban those too.

Then they were rifled too so the rifled muskets should be banned since they are military arms.

Your logic is treasonous.:banghead:
It was not intended as a cosmetic ban, but a way to ban most semi auto rifles with any military heritage.

A bayonet lug has long been a standard of military designs, a requirement, and often built to a standard of being able to withstand significant amounts of force (one that just "held" a bayonet would not be adopted, it needs to be strong enough to actually allow use of the bayonet.)

Therefore the antis intent was to prohibit all semi-auto rifles based on military designs.
Since a bayonet was standard on such designs, banning bayonet lugs was a way to do this.

Since your average civilian never actually uses a bayonet anyways, most would hardly notice if the lug was there or not.
The gun manufacturers are the ones that turned it into a "cosmetic" thing, but just making guns that were no longer based on the military designs, and got around the restrictions by simply removing some of them and replacing them with something not named where necessary.
Since the bayonet was not needed at all, they simply removed the bayonet lug completely, and made the rifles no longer able to attach a bayonet.

The antis didn't car about bayonets, but they did car about military rifle designs, most of which had the means to attach a bayonet.

A bayonet though is not really "cosmetic". It is a functional component of a firearm. It is just "cosmetic to a civilian that would shoot the rifle long before they put themselves in a situation where poking with a bayonet was needed.
But a bayonet lug is typically so overbuilt to allow thrusts with a bayonet that it was often the strongest and most robust attachment point of any design based on a military firearm.
You could design many things to attach to such a strong point. The removal of the strongest attachment point of many rifles simply to comply with such restrictions was not "cosmetic" in reality, just "cosmetic" in the result, rifles that shot the same but no longer had the attachment point.

The "assault weapon" bans of various states also grow, and grow, encompassing new firearms all the time.
Many people think they know what an "assault weapon" is, but they are sadly mistaken.
That is one of the ways the antis win, people think they know the firearms targeted, and are then divided and conquered.
Once they defeat the group split from the herd, they split a new group from the herd.
California has added even single shot .50 BMG firearms to the list of "assault weapon" restrictions.
A pistol with a threaded barrel is an "assault weapon".
1911 with threaded barrel? Assault weapon.

Even a firearm that would look at home in an old Western is an "assault weapon" with an 11 round tubular magazine.

Some places (like Chicago) have since declared things specifically exempt from the federal version like the mini-14 "assault weapons" as did various attempts to "re-instate" the expired federal one.

Several of the attempted "renewal" or "reinstatement" bills at the federal level have included just a single line that said something about giving the Attorney General the power to name anything an "assault weapon".
This power in practice would extend to the regulatory agency when the AG gave them the authority to act on his behalf.
That means the ATF could have named absolutely any firearm an "assault weapon" at will.
Other bills have included a line that made the assumption that any firearm adopted by the military or a federal LEO agency was an "assault weapon" unless they said otherwise.
This effectively means all they would have to do to ban any gun is adopt it briefly in any LEO agency, for even small side roles.

You don't know what an "assault weapon" is, and neither do I. We never will because the definition is determined by the latest active legislation that defines it (which is currently none at the federal level.)
It is an amorphous term, that takes on a new shape each time the antis wish, or existing legislation is amended by some rider on your typical standard budget, and just a couple words or a single sentence alter the whole way it is applied.
Since it is illegal to drive racing cars on the streets, perhaps any car with excessive stickers, rally-style wheels, ground effects/spoilers, large exhaust systems, etc. should not be street legal.

Since, after all, appearance is what defines a thing. If it looks like a race car then it must be a race car, and should be banned.

If it looks scary, it must be a machine gun, and should be banned, right?

An assault rifle is defined as a select-fire, high capacity short barreled rifle in an intermediate caliber.

Since we already can't own select-fire weapons (easily) that means virtually none of the currently available firearms are assault rifles.
Good point, but the right to untasteful art does not extend to untasteful art that is also unsafe.
What is "unsafe" about a Glock 22 with a picture of Winnie the Pooh on the slide as opposed to one without?

Does it override any of the safety features?
I'm sorry, Maybe I missed it, (serious as a heartattack here) But could someone please site the part of the Constitution of the United states that permits the gov. (in any form), to BAN anything?
It was not intended as a cosmetic ban, but a way to ban most semi auto rifles with any military heritage.


The term "assault weapon" is an evanescent thing whose definition is not qualifiable. The term means whatever the anti-gun blissninnies say that it means at any given time.

In another note: When the NJ AWB ban was passed; a good friend decided not to register his two "assault weapons". He brought them to my home in another state for safekeeping. My friend recently passed away and his family wants nothing to do with those guns; they told me to keep them.
This thread IMO has drifted off from the OP point.

(not quoted from the OP)
Are bayonet lugs ONLY cosmetic......NOPE
Are Flash suppressors ONLY cosmetic .........NOPE

The OPs point was that HE feels AWs could still be banned because things like those listed above, which are commonly found on AWs, are not commonly needed for self defense. (The word "common" is what would be under scrutiny)

I see his point and also feel he has SOME point.

Cosmetically looking SCARY wouldnt/couldnt/shouldnt be enough to ban. Such as a mini 14 with a new scary stock is cometic different but is the same gun.

Flash suppressors, for example, 'could' be put into a class as 'not common' with other features like full auto.

Its a thought.... but right now I dont think its on the forefront of the over all issue.
The OPs point was that HE feels AWs could still be banned because things like those listed above, which are commonly found on AWs, are not commonly needed for self defense. (The word "common" is what would be under scrutiny)

Does the Second Amendment mention self-defense? (No.) Does it protect only those weapons -- or parts of those weapons -- "commonly needed" for self-defense? (No.)

In fact, like hunting purposes, self-defense is only tangentially related to the right to bear arms.

Now did Heller (or McDonald) say that infringements would pass scrutiny as long as they didn't affect weapons "commonly needed for self-defense?"

So we are left with the conundrum that these features are either an important part of the functionality of a suitable military arm -- and thus protected by the Second Amendment, or they are "cosmetic" addenda expressive of the owner's aesthetic judgment and thus protected by the First.

Either way, a dead issue.
Two things. First of all, D.C. v. Heller explicitly stated that the arms protected by the 2ndA are "those in common use for lawful purposes." If the 2ndA doesn't protect the most popular target rifles and defensive carbines in the United States, then it doesn't protect much at all.

Second, please familiarize yourself with the concept of "strict scrutiny", which is the standard generally applied to constitutional rights. Just because a bayonet lug on an AR is cosmetic does not give the government carte blanche to ban it, any more than the government can ban books containing four-letter words on the basis that such words are not necessary to conveying meaning. There has to be a compelling public interest that makes a restriction absolutely necessary (which there's not) and the restriction has to be as narrowly tailored as possible to address the problem.

The AWB passes none of those tests; rifles are consistently among the least misused class of firearms in the United States (all rifles combined accounted for only 2.6% of murders in 2008), features bans do nothing whatsoever to reduce rifle misuse, and such bans overwhelmingly affect the law-abiding rather than the criminally violent.

BTW, I would argue that from a home-defense standpoint, a flash suppressor and a protruding handgrip are ergonomic, not cosmetic. The former helps preserve the shooter's vision by redirecting the flash downrange, and the latter allows safer handling of a long gun in close quarters, as well as better retention (IMO).

Flash suppressors, for example, 'could' be put into a class as 'not common' with other features like full auto.
Except flash suppressors are exceedingly common.
What if they dont like the book of Revaltions maybe we should ban that from the bible? The second amendment says arms. It does not say only the ones we say you can have.
Wow, Bushmaster, you started a (deleted -- Sam). Anyway, the the AWB is not unconstitutional in regards to the 1st or 2nd amendment really, but in the list of powers of the United States Congress. This is more of a commercial issue, much in the same way as drugs or things you can put on cars. The Congress has no power to prohibit the manufacture and sale of anything, much less attachments to a firearm.
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In 1939, didn't "Miller" essentially give blessings to weaponry commonly of use to the militia? So a critter with "high-cap" magazines and bayonet lugs looks to me like it oughta be constitutionally protected. :)

Further, the Preamble to the BOR implicitly requires the citizenry to have parity with the State when it comes to weaponry...
The OP's argument seems to rely on the principle that unless a right or authority is specifically granted to the people or states, it resides by default with the federal government. That is the opposite of the truth. The federal government is the one that must operate solely within its specified limits, and only within those limits. The states and by proxy, the People, have unlimited rights outside those spelled out for the federal government.

To put it another way, the OP seems to be operating under then false assumption that unless a right is specifically spelled out, the People do not have such a right. That is false. The truth is that unless a power of the government is spelled out, the government does not have that power. If there is no Constitutional provision, by default, something is permissible. The power resides with US. The government must prove they have a reason to regulate something.

That seems to be the center of the OP's arguments. Since cosmetics are not specifically protected, they must be regulatable. Again that is the opposite of the truth. In reality, according to the Constitution, something must be specifically regulateble or it is permissible by default.

The OP seems to be mistaken as to what the default position is. He seems to think that the default position is that something can be regulated unless specifically permissible. That is 1000% wrong. The truth is that the default position of anything is that it is permissible, unless specifically granted to the federal government.

The Second Amendment does not mention cosmetics. The OP seems to think that means they can be regulated by default. The Truth is that unless they are given by US the authority to regulate cosmetics, they do not have such authority.

I'll put it another way in real world terms. I open carry. Some acquaintances have asked incredulously, "You're allowed to open carry?" This shows the falsehood of their belief system. They believe that unless I am granted something by the government, it is illegal and regulateable. Again, this is the opposite of the truth. There is no law against open carry in my state, therefore by default it is legal, not illegal. The burden of proof lies with the government to make something illegal, not with US to make something legal.

How does this apply to the OP's specific thought? That's simple. Does the Constitution specifically give the federal government the right to regulate firearms based on cosmetics? No. That means by default cosmetics are unregulateable. They must make their case to regulate something. NOT us making our case to free something.
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If a weapon is banned, for any reason, cosmetic or otherwise, it is still banned which is an infringement.
The reason the 2nd ammendment exists is so the PEOPLE can protect themselves from a tyranical GOVERNMENT. Bans like this say we can only do so with one arm tied behind our backs and we must wear a blindfold as well. Ridiculous!
The OP's argument doesn't even address any constitutional law principals. I think the OP needs to do several thousand pages worth of reading on constitutional jurisprudence before he can even begin to understand the real issues at question here and why his original post is so silly.

I'm sorry, Maybe I missed it, (serious as a heartattack here) But could someone please site the part of the Constitution of the United states that permits the gov. (in any form), to BAN anything?

The commerce clause. Perhaps the necessary and proper clause in the right circumstances. Right wrong or other wise (and I believe it is wrong I think Justice Thomas has the right approach on the issue) the commerce clause has been interpreted to be nigh unto carte blanche (I would have said it was carte blanche prior to Lopez and its progeny) for the government do so, provided that there is no other limitation on that power, like say, the protections found in the bill of rights.
Doesn't silencers reduce the range of a gun? I do not know the answer to this...

btw the Constitution does not say we have the right to modify/change/update guns in the future.

" well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed "

Cleary we see "shall not be infringed" Clearly future advancements would change guns some day. That why it says "shall not be infringed"


IMO nothing on a gun should be banned. I think its silly have to wait till 21 to own a handgun when at 18 you can get a rifle with a bigger cartiage. And the 922(r) I think thats silly too. Full autos SHOULD be regulated though. And for SBS/SBR It should not be taxxed. It is just a like a pistol... IMO again."shall not be infringed"
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