Assault weapons deserve as much constitutional protection as other guns; legislation to prohibit or control assault weapons is unconstitutional.
Of all the firearms on the market today, military-style semiautomatic firearms appear to be the individual "arms" with the clearest claim to protection under the Second Amendment. These firearms offer all of the advantages of modern, reliable military design, without the public safety threat of fully automatic capability. So-called "assault rifles" satisfy the test laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court in "Miller," which is that protected weapons must bear "some reasonable relationship to the preservation of a well-regulated militia." Current legislative proposals unconstitutionally burden the individual constitutional right to own military-style semiautomatic rifles. S. 747, for example, prohibits the "transfer, importation, or possession" of any "assault weapon." No compelling state interest justifies such violations of individual rights. "Assault weapons" are not a peculiarly dangerous class of firearms and are not often used in modern violent crime. Given the available evidence, "assault rifle" legislation will have no effect beyond the infringement of the rights of law-abiding citizens.
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