From Prohibited Firearms
To Prohibited Persons
Gun Controllers Shift Focus To Gun Owners

By Jason Ouimet. March 6, 2022

Gun owners have made undeniable progress in shifting public opinion away from bans on the firearms gun-control advocates hate.

Consider, in 1959, Gallup asked the public, “Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of pistols and revolvers, except by the police and other authorized persons?” Sixty percent of respondents answered, “Yes, there should be.” Gallup has continued to ask a similar question ever since. In 2021, with 42 states that recognize the right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense (21 without obtaining prior government permission), only 19% of Americans supported a total civilian handgun ban.

By the 1990s, anti-gun activists understood that their dreams of a federal handgun ban were slipping away. Deliberately playing off of the general public’s ignorance, as admitted by Violence Policy Center’s Josh Sugarmann, gun controllers shifted their primary focus to prohibiting certain types of commonly owned semi-automatic firearms that they maliciously designated “assault weapons.”

The strategy seemingly enjoyed some early success. A handful of states enacted bans on the targeted firearms, and, in 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. At the time, CNN/USA Today polling showed that 71% of Americans supported a ban on “certain semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles.”

In the decade that followed, the Clinton ban proved an abject failure, with multiple Department of Justice-funded studies unable to show that the measure had reduced crime. .....

"Now, as gun-control supporters increasingly set their sights on gun owners, gun-rights supporters must marshal that same passion to combat the more complex anti-gun campaign to expand prohibited-persons categories."


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