The House passed a bill on July 29 that would make it a crime to knowingly “import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.” Social media posts falsely claim “millions of people will become felons overnight” because of the bill. Under the bill, current owners of such firearms would be allowed to keep them.
On July 29, the House passed , the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, which would make it a crime to knowingly “import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD)” — with some exemptions.
The bill was introduced in March, but didn’t come up for a vote until after high-profile mass shootings that involved the use of including the of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school. The bill is in the Senate.
The House bill includes a grandfather clause, so current owners of such firearms would be allowed to keep them. The grandfather clause is similar to the 10-year ban that was included in the . That ban expired in 2004.
But posts on claim the bill will create millions of “overnight felons.”
“With this ban, millions of people will become felons overnight, and they will not go quietly,” reads one
A user on , “I’ve been getting replies saying this is the same ban from the 90s and I’m pretty sure this one is more aggressive. Millions of people including myself would be overnight felons under this legislation and millions of people including myself will also not be turning any guns in.”
But the bill would current owners to keep semi-automatic assault weapons, or SAW, and large capacity ammunition feeding devices, or LCAFD. A of the bill states:
- “The bill permits continued possession, sale, or transfer of a grandfathered SAW, which must be securely stored. A licensed gun dealer must conduct a background check prior to the sale or transfer of a grandfathered SAW between private parties.”
- “The bill permits continued possession of, but prohibits sale or transfer of, a grandfathered LCAFD.”
So, those who already own the firearms would not become felons and would be allowed to keep the guns they currently own. The bill would prevent them from buying new ones.
Congress the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act earlier this year to provide incentives to states to enact their own gun control measures. The legislation — which was sponsored by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and by President Joe Biden on June 24 — did not include any weapon bans.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
. Congress.gov. As passed by the House on 29 Jul 2022.
. Congress.gov. As passed on 13 Sep 1994.
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. Congress.gov. As passed on 25 Jun 2022.