With no application in hunting, assault weapons should not be available to civilians
In 1994, Bill Clinton passed a bill banning assault weapons. However, it expired after 10 years and George W. Bush chose not to renew the ban in 2004, allowing assault weapons to reenter the public market.
The bill needs reviving. Criminals and murderers use assault weapons and semi-automatic weapons because they are readily available. If they were restricted fewer murderers would be able to obtain an assault weapon, meaning they would have to use guns which fire fewer rounds per minute. In a mass shooting incident, this would drastically reduce the number of people the assailant would be able to kill in a short space of time. These weapons also have no legal use. They are not designed for hunting. They are military-grade weapons designed to inflict damage on humans. They have no purpose in day-to-day life.
Banning assault weapons will have no impact on the homicide rate. Criminals will simply move to other weapons. In countries with exceptionally stringent gun laws, there are still murders and homicides, they just use other weapons. The same thing would happen if assault weapons were banned. Murderers would simply use rifles and handguns. Also, there are perfectly legal reasons why an owner would keep an assault weapon: for sport and for protection. The majority of assault weapon owners use their guns for pleasure on a shooting range. Why should they be punished and have their guns taken away because of a few bad apples?
[P1] Assault weapons allow murderers to inflict far more damage in a far shorter time frame than other weapons. [P2] Banning them would limit deaths in mass shootings. [P3] Therefore, the should be banned.
[P2] It may limit the number of deaths but wouldn't limit the number of mass shootings.