While it may come as a surprise to many people, including the citizens of the U.S.A, assault rifles were banned in the country for a period of ten years between 1994 to 2004. 

In 1994, Congress passed the assault weapons ban, officially termed the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act. During that time, 29 years ago, President Biden was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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The Act banned the sale and manufacture of certain semi-automatic firearms to the citizens, along with magazines that could hold ten rounds or more. This assault weapons ban was a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. 

As per data, more Americans were concerned with and actively wanted to lower the gun-related violent crime rate. This also allowed the Democrats with Biden to enforce stricter guidelines by expanding the category of federal crimes. 

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According to President Biden, Senator Dianne Feinstein contributed to the idea of enforcing the ban and planning its guidelines. Mass shootings carried out during her term in office, especially the 1993 California Street shooting, prompted her to take the step to enforce a ban.

It must be remembered that it came with leeway to ensure that the Act was passed. The ban would not affect those who already were owners of semi-automatic rifles. Yet, the Act only received 52 votes to be made into a law by then-Democrat President Bill Clinton.

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When the ten-year term had ended, the political climate was altered to a large extent. The Republicans, by that time, had a long-standing hold on the Senate and the House, and the GOP had increased its numbers following the September 9/11 attacks. 

Therefore, even after the Sandy Hook Incident, any attempt to bring back the ban was impossible due to underlying political factors. 

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The ban also faced heavy backlash from gun advocates, and the Democrats subsequently lost control over the House and the Senate. 

While the ban was criticised for violating the Second Amendment, and it did not play a significant role in curbing gun violence, it did, however, lower the rate of mass shootings which in recent years have seen a spike. 

Assault rifles caused some of the biggest tragedies in American History, like the infamous school shootings which killed numerous children. 

A study was conducted in 2019, which showed that over 50% of republicans supported a ban on automatic weapons and firearms. 

Another study also revealed that the ban prevented an estimated eleven public mass shooting incidents and could have prevented thirty more if continued beyond the ten years. This could have saved the lives of over three-hundred people and prevented over a hundred people from getting severely injured.