What is an assault weapon? Assault weapons are generally defined as semi-automatic firearms that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine and that have an additional military-style feature, such as a pistol grip, folding stock, detachable stock, barrel shroud, or threaded barrel.
What is a high-capacity magazine? A high-capacity magazine is generally defined as an ammunition-feeding device capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.
Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines dramatically increase the lethality of shootings, leading to more people being shot and more fatalities.
- A review of mass shootings between January 2009 and July 2015 found that 155 percent more people were shot and 47 percent more were killed when assault weapons or large-capacity magazines were used.1
These weapons of war are not only used in mass shootings. A 2017 study estimated that, together, assault weapons and guns equipped with high-capacity magazines account for up to 36 percent of guns used in crime.2