Special Report

The 9 States That Have Banned Assault-Style Weapons

Illinois just became the ninth state in the country to effectively ban the sale or possession of assault-style weapons. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the ban into law on Jan. 10, 2023, the first full day of his second term and one day after it won approval in the state legislature.

The new legislation came six months after a mass shooting in a Chicago suburb left seven dead. Pritzker says the new law will make Illinois a safer place, though gun rights advocates claim it is a violation of the Second Amendment and have promised a litany of legal challenges. 

As is the case in states with similar laws on the books, the new law in Illinois explicitly bans dozens of specific firearm models by name, as well as those with any one of a long list of features. The features include semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines that have pistol grip, a folding stock, a barrel shroud, or a flash suppressor. The law also bans semiautomatic pistols with detachable magazines that have a second pistol grip, an arm brace, a threaded barrel, or a shrouded barrel. Current owners of firearms that fall under the ban are required to register them with the Illinois State Police by Jan. 1, 2024 if they wish to keep them legally. 

Using data compiled by Giffords Law Center, a gun control advocacy group, 24/7 Wall St. identified the nine states that have banned assault-style weapons. 

Assault weapons bans in the states on this list were generally put in place in an attempt to reduce mass shootings. Many of the most horrific mass shootings in recent years have been carried with the types of firearms that are now banned in the states on this list. (Here is a look at the most common gun-related crimes in each state.) 

Between 1994 and 2004, the federal government had an assault weapons ban, and during that decade, mass shooting deaths were 70% less likely than they were in the years before the ban was in place, or after it expired, according to GIffords. In several states on this list, bans on assault weapons have been in place for decades, even predating the federal ban. (Here is a look at the states with the loosest gun laws.)

Click here to see the 9 states that have banned assault-style weapons.

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