Congressman Jerry Carl (R-AL01) wants to know voters’ opinions on whether or not the federal government should outlaw all semi-automatic weapons. Carl made the request of his constituents in a poll question that was sent out in an email on Monday.

In the survey Rep. Carl asked simply:

“Last week, the House passed H.R.1808, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022. This bill makes it illegal to own, sell, transfer, or import a semiautomatic weapon. Do you think the federal government should ban semiautomatic weapons?”

The options to answer are:



Other (please specify)

A semi-automatic weapon is defined as a firearm that ejects a shell and loads the next round of ammunition automatically but requires a squeeze of the trigger for each shot.

Automatic weapons that just keep firing as long as the trigger is pulled back, like those used by the U.S. armed forces, are already severely restricted by the Firearms Control Act of 1934.

Prior to the development of semi-automatic and automatic firearms, gun owners had to manually eject the round by pulling the lever back between shots on a lever action rifle, pulling the bolt back on a bolt action rifle, or pulling the pump action back on a pump shotgun. Most handguns sold today would be illegal in a ban on semiautomatic weapons. Revolvers would still be legal.

The Democrats’ "assault weapons" ban did not go that far. It banned many popular semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns and high-capacity magazines (defined as 15 rounds or more).

While Congressman Carl is conducting a poll on what the public thinks about the issue, Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL02) said that the idea that Congress can ban a whole class of firearms at will is unconstitutional.

“This unconstitutional mandate won’t make Americans any safer and will instead result in the disarming of thousands of lawful gun owners who simply want to protect their families and exercise their constitutional rights,” said Moore. “This direct assault on the Second Amendment will capture millions of sporting rifles, shotguns, and pistols simply because they have certain mechanical features that even the authors of the bill have demonstrated they don’t understand.”

Kailey Nieman is the Director of Development for Gun Owners of America (GOA).

“GOA and our industry partners believe wholeheartedly in the preservation of liberty, whether it be defending commonly-owned firearms or ensuring protections from frivolous litigation, we stand together against the unconstitutional actions of Congress,” Nieman said. “We understand firsthand the attack on our Second Amendment and we are honored to have strong partners on the frontlines of this fight.”

The assault weapons ban is now in the Senate where it is expected to fail. Legislation going a step further and outright banning semi-automatic weapons has not been brought to the floor of the House.

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