Special Report

The 10 States That Have Banned Assault-Style Firearms

JOE KLAMAR / AFP via Getty Images

Earlier this year, Washington became the 10th state to impose meaningful restrictions on assault-style firearms. The new law prohibits the sale, manufacture, import, and distribution of certain assault-style rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Notably, however, the new law does not explicitly ban possession of assault weapons, and also allows Washington residents to legally inherent them, or sell them back to a federally licensed firearm dealer.

Though these new restrictions have been challenged by gun rights advocates multiple times in court, attempts to block their implementation have been struck down.

As is the case in states with similar, and often more prohibitive laws, the new law in Washington applies to dozens of specific firearm models, as well as those with any one of a long list of features – including 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 hand grip, a threaded barrel, or a shrouded barrel. 

Using data compiled by Giffords Law Center, a gun control advocacy group, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 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 states with the most mass shootings.)

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 every state’s gun law grade.)

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

Source: adamkaz / E+ via Getty Images

California
> Year ban first went into effect: 1989
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, manufacture, sale, gifting, transport, import
> Exceptions to ban: Lawful ownership of weapon prior to ban and subsequent registration
> Assault weapon definitions: Specific models and firearms with one or more specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

Connecticut
> Year ban first went into effect: 1993, expanded in 2013
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, sale, gifting, transport, import
> Exceptions to ban: Lawful ownership of weapon prior to bans with certification
> Assault weapon definitions: Specific models and firearms with one or more specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

Delaware
> Year ban first went into effect: 2022
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, manufacture, sale, transfer, receipt
> Exceptions to ban: Lawful ownership prior to June 20, 2022, transfer to family member
> Assault weapon definitions: Specific models and firearms with one or more specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

Source: mussikatz / Flickr

Hawaii
> Year ban first went into effect: 1992
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, manufacture, sale or other transfer, barter, trade, gift or acquisition
> Exceptions to ban: Lawful ownership prior to July 1, 1992 and subsequent registration
> Assault weapon definitions: Firearms with two or more specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Pistols only

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Source: Gian Lorenzo Ferretti Photography / E+ via Getty Images

Illinois
> Year ban goes into effect: 2023
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, manufacture, sale, purchase
> Exceptions to ban: Lawful ownership prior to ban and registration before Jan. 1, 2024
> Assault weapon definitions: Specific models and firearms with some specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

Maryland
> Year ban first went into effect: 1994, expanded in 2013
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, sale, transfer, purchase, receipt, transport
> Exceptions to ban: Lawful ownership and registration of assault pistol prior to Aug. 1, 1994 and lawful ownership of assault long gun before Oct. 1, 2013
> Assault weapon definitions: Firearms with two or more specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

Massachusetts
> Year ban first went into effect: 1994
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, sale, transfer
> Exceptions to ban: Lawful ownership prior to Sept. 13, 1994
> Assault weapon definitions: Specific models and firearms with one or more specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

Source: Ultima_Gaina / iStock via Getty Images

New Jersey
> Year ban first went into effect: 1990
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, manufacture, transport, shipping, selling, disposal of
> Exceptions to ban: Officially licensed owners, lawful ownership prior to May 1, 1990 with subsequent registration
> Assault weapon definitions: Specific models and firearms with some specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

Source: TomasSereda / iStock via Getty Images

New York
> Year ban first went into effect: 2013
> Assault weapon restrictions: Possession, manufacture, transport, disposal of
> Exceptions to ban: Lawful ownership prior to Jan. 15, 2013, registered before Jan. 15, 2014
> Assault weapon definitions: Firearms with one or more specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

Source: Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Washington
> Year ban first went into effect: 2023
> Assault weapon restrictions: Sale, manufacture, import, distribution
> Exceptions to ban: Possession or inheritance of assault weapons is permitted
> Assault weapon definitions: Specific models and firearms with some specific features
> Types of banned assault weapons: Rifles, shotguns, and pistols

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