Assault Weapons Ban Odds

Updated: 17 Politics & Current Affairs

Will Congress budge on an Assault Weapons ban?

Assault Weapons Ban Odds

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Michael Calabrese US Content Manager

Experienced sports journalist, College sports expert and broadcaster, hailing from Pennsylvania

  • The last major piece of gun control legislation to pass was the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act on June 25, 2022.
  • The last Federal Assault Weapons Ban lasted from 1994 to 2004.
  • With a 222-to-218 majority in Congress, Republicans control the fate of any Assault Weapon legislation.

The Biden Administration has repeatedly called for an Assault Weapons Ban this spring, but with the House in Republican control, the odds of new legislation passing are remote. Oddsmakers believe there’s less than a 3% chance of an Assault Weapons Ban passing in 2023.  

Federal Assault Weapons Ban Odds

New Legislation Before 1/1/24 Moneyline Probability
Yes +3300 2.94%
No -3500 97.22%

Biden, then a senator from Delaware, supported the 1994 ban on the “manufacture, transfer or possession” of semiautomatic weapons. That ban lasted ten years but expired in 2004. The National Rifle Association has successfully lobbied lawmakers to keep the ban on the shelf in the past twenty years, garnering the most support from Republicans. The NRA spends millions on lobbying efforts, and their candidate "rating system" plays a large role in red states and Republican primaries across the country. 

Additionally, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act last year. This Act beefed up background check laws and incentivized states to create red flag legislation that prevents individuals from buying guns if they are deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others. To many political insiders, this was a bipartisan success that leveraged the political capital Democrats had at their disposal. Those same insiders don’t believe there is any capital or leverage remaining for Democrats to win over the requisite amount of Republicans to make an Assault Weapons ban a reality. Essentially with a 222-to-218 majority in Congress, pro-gun members like Reps. Lauren Boebert (CO) and Majorie Taylor Greene (GA) have enhanced sway over what legislation makes it to the floor for a vote. For that reason, it seems improbable that any Assault Weapons Ban would even be voted upon in 2023. 

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