Dustin "Top Shot" Ellermann lays it out for the uninitiated.
What is an “Assault Weapon”?
There is a great deal of controversy about the permanent ”Assault Weapons Ban” promised by Obama. Some gun owners don’t feel threatened by this ban, but armed citizens everywhere need to understand what the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) of 1994 was and the impact it will have on our 2nd Amendment rights as a whole if permanently renewed.
The phrase “Assault Weapons” has no real definition. It is a gun-banners coined phrase created to hopefully confuse people with “Assault Rifles”.
Now, Assault Rifles are real, and VERY regulated since 1934, and VERY rare in civilians hands since the Gun Control Act of 1986 which banned the ownership of any newly manufactured machine guns. An assault rifle is a select-fire (either fully automatic or burst capable) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. It is not to be confused with assault weapons. A real AK47 will cost somewhere upwards of $15,000, a M16 upwards of $25,000.