Assault weapons ban to expire Monday; renewal unlikely

A 10-year-old ban on assault weapons is set to expire Monday, with debate on its effectiveness continuing and gunmakers preparing to resume sales of the arms. The ban was signed by President Clinton in 1994 with the concession that it require renewal in 10 years, but support for weapons control has dwindled since then and the National Rifle Association and other groups have lobbied strongly against the law. Congress refused to vote on an extension this week, allowing the ban to lapse. Some arms experts and those involved in the industry said the expiration would have little impact because the ban had many loopholes allowing enthusiasts to continue purchasing essentially the same weapons. The ban has also not been an issue in the presidential campaign. President Bush has said he supports the ban, although members of his party are intensely imposed. Democratic candidate John Kerry voted to renew the ban, but he has not made the issue a major topic in his campaign. Despite the ban's expiration, restrictions will remain in some states, including California and New Jersey. The ban was passed as Title XI of the Federal Violent Crime Control Act of 1994. The Los Angeles Times has more.

 

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