Skip to content

Washington D.C. - U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo, said the sunset of the 1994 federal assault weapons will be a victory for gun owners. Majority leaders in Congress said a vote will not likely take place on the re-authorization of the ban, before the ban is scheduled to sunset Monday.

"The assault weapons ban gives a false sense of security to gun-control advocates, but Wyoming gun owners know that a law based on superficial characteristics will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals," said Enzi. "The ban's definition of ‘assault weapon' is poorly worded. For instance, under the ban's definition anyone who bought a surplus bolt action World War I rifle and cut off part of the front stock to make it look more modern and did anything to the barrel to reduce kick has made two modifications to a rifle. That made it an ‘assault weapon' even though it isn't even semi-automatic. People who know little about guns may think a law will make them safer, but in reality all this law does is make criminals out of law abiding citizens. Now that the ban is expiring many Wyoming hunters can now legally use their guns."

Enzi is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and has fought against gun control.

"Representing Wyoming residents who own guns means defending the freedom to keep and bear arms, not supporting laws that infringe on those freedoms," Enzi said.

The assault weapons ban, which expires at midnight on September 13, 2004, imposed a 10-year moratorium on the manufacture, sale and possession of 19 models and variations of semiautomatic firearms. This prohibited revolving cylinder shotguns, flash hiders, bayonet mounts, folding rifle stocks, threaded barrels for attaching silencers and most magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

"The ban only addressed the look of a weapon. It did nothing to reduce criminal use of firearms. The ban did not solve any real problems," said Enzi. "The law has been ineffective in decreasing violence and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. The nation's gun owners will regain a freedom lost for 10 years when the ban sunsets and I am pleased to see the curtain close on this bill. I'm sure there will be continued efforts to revive it and other gun control efforts, but I will work hard to keep these misguided bills off the books."