Question of the Day: Will Hunters Stand Up for “Assault Rifles”?

“As a small child I remember my grandfather had his rifle on a gun rack over his bed for protection, my father has a rifle in his home and today, being a farmer and living on a farm, I, too, own a 22-caliber rifle,” John W. Boyd writes at the huffingtonpost.com. Uh-oh! HuffPo! “I respect the right to bear arms and support the Second Amendment. But I question what the Sam Hill does a farmer or hunter need with an AR-15 or any assault weapon? What are you hunting that requires the need of a semi-automatic weapon — an instrument used for military warfare? This defies common sense and it should be central during the gun debate. This kind of extremism is part of the reason I do not have an NRA membership. I do not need one to exercise my constitutional rights under the Second Amendment.” That’s music to the ears of the pols pursuing civilians disarmament. Divide and conquer: split hunters from gun rights advocates. Is it working? Will it work?

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

140 Responses to Question of the Day: Will Hunters Stand Up for “Assault Rifles”?

  1. avatarRoss says:

    It’s been my experience that “hunters” have no clue nor do they care to have a clue what the Second Amendment is about, so to answer your question No.

    • avatarBLAMMO says:

      Aren’t these people commonly referred to as “Fudds”? I believe the etymology has something to do with Elmer Fudd.

    • avatarMoonshine says:

      This hunter is also a competitive shooter. Can we please separate the Fudds from the hunters?

    • avatarDavid-p says:

      I am a hunter and I care about keeping my ar’s. I always tell people that if you are just going to buy one rifle to have around you can’t go wrong with a AR. What’s not to like about them. You can go from 22lr to 450 bushmaster in the matter of seconds, allowing you to take any game in the US, even without readjusting optics. The felt recoil is less because of the gas/spring combo. Accessories are easier to put on and change. They are 100% reliable. They are easy to use, hell they are even easy to clean. If you do have a problem with it you can find the part you need just about anywhere so you don’t have to worry about ruining your hunting trip. Most of the ammo is easy to find(most of the time) and affordable. I will have to say that I don’t load a 30 rounder to hunt with but I do care a 30 round mag with me when I am hunting because it is the easiest and quietest way to carry extra ammo.

    • avatarOld Ben turning in grave says:

      This tactic of trying to get everyone to accept that the 2A is about hunting is tiring. They will never stop saying it, but I’m getting so sick of going through the same stuff every time.

  2. avatargloomhound says:

    Will Hunters Stand Up for “Assault Rifles”?

    No

    • avatarS.CROCK says:

      i hate the people that say “i hunt and i believe in the 2A. but why do people need scary black guns.” we need them because thats what the thugs use them. not to mention the 2A isn’t talking about hunting.

      • avatarpat says:

        This is the #1 libtard tactic. The ‘assault rifles’ are to be used when ‘Big Gov’ launches an illegal ‘assault’ on our freedom (firearms).

  3. avatarChris says:

    A push needs to be made to make them realize their Remington 700 with a scope will be targeted next because its a sniper rifle.

    • avatarjwm says:

      New York state is already making that push for us. The unity issue is definately something we need to work on. We are arguing to keep our gun rights. We can discuss abortions and gay marriege and a myriad of other wedge issues when the danger to our guns is past.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        We can discuss abortions and gay marriege and a myriad of other wedge issues when the danger to our guns is past.

        On scheduling those discussions… how about never? Especially when it comes to abortion and reproductive rights. It actively detracts from our ability to work together in support of 2A rights — and that danger will NEVER be past. Sometimes it’s just more evident than others.

        • avatarjwm says:

          Works for me. I give less than a sh!t about what somebody else is doing with their life so long as they leave me the fvck alone.

        • avatarCoyote Gray says:

          +1

          Honestly, I find that many of my fellow gun owners, could stand to be more consistent with their “get the government out of our lives” mantra. But it doesn’t need to be discussed here and now.

          Not all 2A proponents are Republicans. Not all hunters are 2A proponents.

          We would do well to remember that.

          But as far as I am concerned, protecting 2A should coalesce more people, then splintering off hunters will weaken us.

      • avatarDrVino says:

        I was thinking that so many antis are just hoplophobes. There is nothing rational about their position, else they would look at the data and come to a different conclusion.

        Then, I thought that the argument could be phrased as follows:

        “You are freaked out by guns. OK. Some people are that way.
        Some people are also freaked out by the idea of two men engaged in sexual acts. Yet, they don’t seek to restrict those consenting adults from engaging in that kind of behavior.”

        Not sure what traction that would gain in a discussion/debate.

    • avatarmike marriam says:

      Exactly!

    • avatarpat says:

      And then handguns because they are so consealable and such a high percentage of crimes are used with them.
      See, any excuse you want to use.
      Stupid libtards.

      • avatarDrVino says:

        “Stupid libtards.”

        No….
        Very, very, very smart libtards….

      • avatarMark N. says:

        Concealable weapons have always been the real target because they are the primary weapon employed in gun violence. But since they are also the number one weapon used for personal and home defense, the cries of outrage would be too great, the burden to difficult to carry in truying to ban them outright. Instead, they have demonized the “assault weapon,” esily identified by its evil dark furniture, proposed that no one “needs them”, and that this willbe a safer place if they are banned so that they don’t fall into the hands of mentally deranged individuals. These “feel good” propositions are easy to swallow and difficult to refute. Stage to is the mag limits laws, already rearing their ugly heads. You will hear the same argunents–no one “needs” that many roun ds, only the police and military do. Guns are evil and cause mass deaths. But we’ll be safer if we limit them to (pick a number ten or less) rounds, because then the “good guys” will be able to take him down when he pauses to reload.
        Then they ban bullets or regulate them so that they are too expensive to use.
        Sound familiar? I think the boys in the legislature have had these plans formulated for a long time. The one thing going for us right now is that they tipped their hand in their eagerness to acheive total victory, and they have overreached to the point that the people are angry; hopefully that will be their downfall as well.

        • avatarJBS says:

          People who talk about whether someone “needs” anything have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the world works. Its the person who spends the money that decides his/her needs. All else is commentary.

  4. avatarLC Judas says:

    That depends on two things, assuming they don’t already own such weaponry.

    A. Do they believe that its two different battles?
    B. Do they believe that the battle stops with “assault weapons” removed from civilian possession?

    Yes to A means unlikely that they will care. Yes to B can lead to a Yes to A as a compromise.

  5. avatarOkieRim says:

    No way, no offense, but most hunters just dont know the 2A at all…some do, but most dont.

  6. avatarSilver says:

    Hahahahahahaha!

    Oh, wait, that was a serious question?

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Hunter’s? Of the enemies of peace, or hunters of muskrats? To the supposed decent farmers with their .22 rifles I ask “Sir, have you so squandered your crop subsidy that you cannot buy an arm worthy of militia service? Do you think to evade the service of your neighbors in the coming hour of need by pleading publicly that your weapon is too weak for our defense?”

  7. avatarmountocean says:

    Can we discuss this without being so devisive? We’re doing as much dividing of our own ranks as the opposition, only making it all the easier to be conquored. Like Chris said above, we need to focus on “How do we convince ALL hunters to stand up for assault rifles”, not bitch about the whole group as if they were a seperate class. Many of us hunt, some of us don’t think felons should be able to buy full auto, we have different ideas about what’s best because we’re not hive-minded ants; but we need to educate the fuds, not ostricize them.

  8. avatarDavid W. says:

    I think some of the younger ones (like under 40?) understand that there is no real difference between the shotguns they use for hunting and the dangerous and evil “assault weapons” they want to ban. Since Ohio requires a shotgun or muzzle loader for deer, basically the majority of shotguns are either “assault weapons” as is, or readily made into “assault weapons” with a new stock because they are Mossberg 500s or Remington 870s that cover turkey, fowl, water fowl, and deer for not much more then 400 dollars for a rifled barrel + the gun itself.

    Honestly, most hunter’s I know are salt-of-the-earth people who aren’t holier-than-thou like a lot of politicians and reporters are. The only ones we have to worry about are the outspoken fudds who say “any rifle that isn’t a bolt action 30’06 is useless for hunting and should be illegal” and who scream that at everyone they can.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      The cure for bad speech is MORE speech. We need to get folks in front of cameras and giving quotes to the press who represent the more rational viewpoint.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Yes. Those with a forum or name recognition need to assert the obvious truth, that it is the character of a killer, not the caliber or capacity of his gun, which is the evil. The left lost three champions, JFK, MLK, and RFK, but could not direct their anger at the guns because (let me get this right) the things had some wood furniture and only enough cartridges for murder?

        • avatarRalph says:

          RD, how the hell did that lace curtain Irishman JFK get to be an icon of the Left? His father was a great admirer of Hitler. Jack was a fiscal conservative and a full-fledged cold warrior on foreign policy, albeit a sensible one. He only got involved with the civil rights movement because MLK begged him. And he was elected by making up a phoney “missile gap” between us and the all-powerful Soviets.

    • avatarLogan P says:

      ^ this. This is where I stand as well.

      I would like to mention that in my neck of the woods, an SKS is one of the most common rifles for deer hunting, and I nearly bought an AR in. 300 BLK from my neighbor for the same purpose. Then you have Texans, who from what I understand absolutely go crazy for ARs in order to shoot many hogs, and the many people across the nation who use semiautomatic rifles just for the sport of it, and use 20/25/30/60/100 round magazines because it’s not fun to reload every five or ten rounds when you’re competing

      Besides all that, there’s the FACT that the 2A has absolutely Sweet Fvck All to do with hunting.

    • avatarDrVino says:

      I recently got into a back-and-forth where the other person asserted that anything that doesn’t require manual work to chamber the next round should be banned.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        So revolvers are Right Out, then. Awesome.

        So many of these problems can be solved by getting more people to the range. Give them a 22lr revolver with a crap ejector, and have them run it through 5 shoot/unload/reload cycles. Then do the same with a 22lr Mark II or III semi-auto.

  9. avatar40&2000 says:

    They don’t care. They are completely convinced they will always be able to have their rifles and shotguns. They will need to be stung before they do anything. Couple that with the concentrated effort to divide gun owners and the problem gets even worse. The proposed laws in Maryland specifically go easy on “hunting rifles” to widen the divide. I am not sure how “hunting rifle” is defined since in MD you could legally hunt deer with an AR chambered in something bigger than .223.
    Related note how do we fight the semi-auto weapon of war meme. Last I checked a full auto M16 had rate of fire that FAR exceeded a semi-auto AR. Do any militarys use semi ARs?

    • avatarChris says:

      Stop calling them semi-auto. I’m saying auto-loaders as much as possible. Semi-automatic is a stupid term that means nothing just like assault rifle.

      • avatar40&2000 says:

        Worth a shot.

      • avatarAaron says:

        Autoloader I think would bring to an antis mind bullets automatically loading themselves and killing children (Oh no, not the children…) whereas semiauto I think implies that there is some restraint… Either way they’re going to try to ban them all

  10. avatarMike in NC says:

    Hunters in 2006 numbered 12.5 million per the Fish and Wildlife Service. (Bow hunters included in the count?) Some unknown number of hunters use AR-pattern rifles and still more use other semi-autos. I think most of these groups will see the threat. The remainder will not and will be difficult or impossible to convince.

    Firearms owners number at least 80 million and possibly over 100 million.

    The press wants us to be discouraged that somewhere around 10% of firearms owners reject semi-autos for hunting. We should flip that around in that up to 90% of firearms owners reject the idea that the 2nd amendment is about hunting.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      This is an excellent point.

      And adding to it, we also have to point out how magazine restrictions affect a HUGE number of those 80 to 100 million (and counting!) citizens who own firearms. Remember, lots of people have semi-auto handguns whose magazines hold more than 10 rounds.

  11. avatarSubZ says:

    Wow @ the responses here. If we don’t hang together we will surely hang separately.

    Yes, I will. Going to the capitol in the morning.

    I have no desire for a modern sporting rifle, but I see this for what it is.

  12. avatarLance says:

    Most will stand up some wont. no one will tell but many hunter use ARs no so the antigun hunter argument wont work well these days.

    PS the old man writer of this article is a idiot the military dose not use semi-auto firearms and AR-15s are not automatic either he not a hunter just a old anti-gun jerk lying on who he is.

  13. avatarChris Knox says:

    Hunters who believe that other people should give up their “assault weapon” (sic) would do well to consider the history of a Mr. Jim Zumbo. He has fortunately rehabilitated his career, but only after he took the time to learn more about the tools of his trade. Here’s my report from the time: https://www.firearmscoalition.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=631:the-zumbo-flap&catid=19:the-knox-update&Itemid=144

    Come tho think of it, maybe this is a good time for him to talk about the flap, and the need for all gun owners to defend all guns. The “NATO Doctrine” — an attack on one is an attack all.

    • avatarGreg in Allston says:

      Chris, now more than ever, all gun owners need to adopt the “NATO Doctrine”. Thanks for pointing that out. From your lips to God’s and gun owners ears.

  14. avatarsurlycmd says:

    Apparently some hunters have forgotten where the design of their favorite hunting rifle originated.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Exactly. Which brings me to this: Was it not in recent decades the brutal bolt-action gun, that sinister invention of the craven HUN, and the revolver, that lethal relic by which Col. Colt once made DISSOLUTE gamblers the equal of honest men, was it not these and these alone which stole from us JFK, RFK, and MLK? Though the left Democrats be faint-hearted, let us be upright and bold and ameliorate their fears: Restrict the murderous spawn of the Mauser 98 and Colt’s Revolver now. Leave in the hands of law-loving citizens those firearms of any real use to us in stopping the violent house-breaker, or halting, in union with our neighbors, advancing rioters intent on murder and arson, unbound by any decent instinct whatever.

  15. avatarBlehtastic says:

    They have poster board that is all foamy and stiff so it won’t blow around in the wind!

    Don’t forget to bring tissues and gloves tomorrow if you’re up north!

    And to the question, I had a hunter friend look at me like I was crazy for assuming the journal news had contributed to break ins at specific addresses, so whatever.

  16. avatarMymc says:

    Long time reader second time post. The way I see it is this way, all of our firearms are military styled after several or current iterations of said firearm. When the pundits say military styled, remind all your hunter friends that all of our firearms are derived from a military firearm at one point in time. A firearm is used for warfare to defend and to assault. There is no black and white to what a firearm of military design or civilian design. They all can be used for warfare, and as such when the pundits state that these evil “military styled weapons of warfare” they also mean that bolt action M1903 Springfield or that Remington 700 or even that Browning auto 5. It’s all inclusive. Our brethens of hunting should recognize that their firearms are also military styled weapons of warfare. Once they understand this fact, it’ll be easier to unite.

  17. avatarBrennan says:

    I’ll be hunting with mine in a few hours. Here piggy piggy..

    • avatarbontai Joe says:

      You are one of the guys actually hunting with a “black rifle”? We need to get some hog hunters out in public view. You guys are shooting a smart animal that is destroying millions of dollars of crops a year. And the modern semi-auto rifle is PERFECT for hunting a herd animal where quick shooting is needed as well as accuracy and knock down power. Why is it that all the politicians talk of deer and ducks? Have they no clue as to all the varied game and varmits available to shoot??? Oh yeah, I forgot, that wouldn’t fit in with their ultimate agenda, and it don’t fit, then pretend it does not exist. We need to make it IMPOSSIBLE for them to do that. I wish someone had a documentary of the Korean shop owners defending their businesses with “assault” rifles during the rodney King riots. Why did they need 20 and 30 round magazines? Because the looters were traveling in herds of 20 and 30, just like the wild pigs. Vermin is vermin is vermine, and you can’t have too many bullets or too much gun when the vermin you are shooting is dangerous and travels in packs with no fear. I don’t care if it’s 2 legged or 4 legged.

  18. avatarTexasCitizen says:

    Point out that their “sniper rifles” shooting multiple “armor piercing bullets” or the shotgun equivalent are next. No ammo, no parts, no sale, penalty for failure to report transfer, loss, theft, or destruction, no where to shoot, mandatory weapon storage, ammo accountabilty, transport, repair , etc. etc…. It goes on and on.

  19. avatarTim says:

    IMO the issue isn’t with Hunters per se, its with the extremist message that the NRA transmits which excludes more moderate gun owners.

  20. avatarJohn Bergmann says:

    Growing up hunting my father never had an interest in those “black rifles”. As I have learned and read and researched myself, he should have, from the very start, been concerned with what the government wants to take from us. Just the other day he repeated to me Cuomo’s words about “10 rounds to shoot a deer”, my reply was of course; the 2A isn’t about hunting. So now I am concerned about this very thing because in my experience-no, hunters as a group, unless they use an AR, will not say a thing about “assault weapons”. Although I love the rehearsed line about “military” equipment and last I checked the military uses M-16′s and M4′s, not AR-15s. But maybe I’m paying too much attention.

  21. avatarraincrow says:

    It should be left up to the states what can and can not be used.Here in N.C. its legal to hunt deer and pig with a AR15 and I do.Hunters run dogs and it’s not unusual to see a AR15 on stand. Every county has different laws but down east its wide open on what kind of firearm you can use.The truth is its not about hunting its about the 2nd amendment!

  22. avatarSmaj says:

    To paraphrase: if we don’t hang together we’ll hang separately.

  23. avatarMike S says:

    I’m in both camps- I hunt, and I own firearms for self defense. Maybe its my age (41), but I don’t see the sharp divide that some of you do. Its all one big area of interest for me, and I will be at my state Capitol tomorrow.
    Oh- and no, I don’t own an AR, nor do I have any great interest. But ill be damned if I’m gonna sit idly while they draw up law saying I CAN’T.

    • avatarKaliope says:

      Thank you, Mr. S. Please know that my post was not directed at you.

    • avatarJake5 says:

      I’m w/ Mike. I grew up on a farm, hunted and still do. I think you all need to get to know a few more hunters….and farmers. Especially the ones under 60. My family and the crew I hunt w/ all own anything they can afford/ get their hands on including Mr. AR. They believe in our Constitution as well.

      • avatarCatahoula Cave Man says:

        I’m with mike and jake on this as well. Growing up in the pine flats, hardwood bottoms and open swamp land in central Louisiana, most if not all in the area are fervent hunters, trappers, fisherman, farmers, etc. And are just as enthusiastic about their 2nd amendment rights as anyone else. And as Jake stated, down here we purchase anything and everything we can get our hands on. Also, as an aside note, we have a large military presence here (Camp Beauregard, Camp Cook, Fort Polk and former England AFB) so the good ole boys and gals here tend to understand what the 2nd amendment is about and know the difference between hunting and what it was originally written for.

  24. avatarKaliope says:

    And this is why I can’t stand hunters. If they want to stand with me, shoulder to shoulder, I welcome them. Not with open arms, mind you, because those will be holding MY rifle, but I will welcome them. Too many of them, though, say “S’long as they leave mah durr gun ‘lone, I don’ care.” I cannot abide by that. I cannot abide by rights being abridged as long as YOU are left alone. To do that means you do not appreciate, nor respect, rights. And owning a .22 caliber rifle is NOT exercising your 2nd Amendment rights. Not as they were intended, at least (and I’m not saying you shouldn’t own one, .22s are fun as hell.)

    • avatarMike in NC says:

      When reading articles and postings from supposed hunters or gun owners who say they own a .22, I get the impression that most were probably given that .22 by a parent when they were young, were scared by it and the firearm in question has spent all the subsequent years locked in an attic trunk.

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        Yeah, at this point, I kinda view the statement “I own a .22 rifle” as a defensive statement. Because, y’know, who doesn’t? Why do you feel the need to say it. Hell, half the time when I’m talking about my guns, I mention the .40, the .380, and the .243 Win, but I don’t even mention the Mosquito or the 10/22. It’s not active avoidance, it just doesn’t cross my mind.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          I can’t help but chip this in: .22LR rifles were banned in Sweden early on, because they were (unlike center fire calibers) frequently used in vandalism and the killing of other people’s pets, yet were not needed for hunting. Any legitimate use of a .22LR was forced to adopt a shotgun instead.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Just spent 10 minutes typing an epic, entertaining response on the iPad then it got sent to moderation, never to be seen again.

          FML.

        • avatar16V says:

          I now copy everything before posting, though that seems a rather fruitless effort as well…

  25. avatarLSUTigersFan says:

    And when some nut job kills someone with a shotgun or a hunting rifle, and their rights get targeted, they will look to us for help. I am afraid that many hunters will not fight for assault rifles. My father was originally not with me on assault rifles, until I pointed out that the sweeping ass-hat propositions coming out of the progressives could be read broad enough to cover his hunting shotguns (that he thought were safe). Now, the old man is on board.

    Many will not find out they are also in Obama’s sights until it is too late.

  26. avatarBob says:

    “Assault Rifles” don’t need quotes, as it has a specific meaning (Wiki it). “Assault Weapons” is a political term and can mean anything anyone wants it to mean.

    So the question should be: “Will hunters stand up for semi-automatic rifles?”

  27. avatarGuy in NY says:

    Aside from the bolt action hunters, the other group is the group that has never seen or handled a gun. I think they simply don’t know anything but the politically correct mantras. I do find that most people would like to shoot an AR if you bring it up quietly after listening to them. I am going to take as many non shooters to the range and show them fun with ARs in 2013 .

  28. avatarShire-man says:

    These old white anti-gun hunter types are the very same bigots the gun grabers try to make us all out to be.

    They don’t like our rifles because they’re not what they approve of. Because they see them used on TV by criminals (read: minorities).

    These are the same bigots who would support a breed ban not on their German shepherds but on a certain terrier all the city (read: minorities) folk are getting into trouble with.

    When a so-called “hunter” pulls this crap all I can see is a white hood and a burning cross.

    The gun-grabers who align themselves with these people should consider the motive behind their position before we get another klanbake konvention.

    Altruistic safety for society or trying to keep the lesser castes in their place?

    • avatarRalph says:

      Because they see them used on TV by criminals (read: minorities).

      One of my best friends actually said that about my M&P 40c. He said it looks mean, like a gangster gun. And he’s neither anti-gun nor anti-black. Go figure.

      I had to explain to him that my pistol was actually very friendly and a real jokester.

  29. avatarmarty eppes says:

    I hunt with a Smith and Wesson m&p 15, so HELL YES!! I do have a clue Ross, thanks for sticking together with us clueless hunters.

  30. avatarJohn Fritz says:

    Will Hunters Stand Up for “Assault Rifles”?

    That’s a rhetorical question, right?

    No. No, they won’t.

  31. avatarEd Rogers says:

    I can’t predict what any hunter is thinking, they’re just people too. My perception is that their attitudes will be just as varied as the general public’s…until their sport is threatened.

  32. avatarOK S. says:

    Farmer? Hunter? Isn’t John W. Boyd Jr. one of those hacks trying to piggyback onto the Pigford fraud?

  33. avatarCZJay says:

    NO!

    Because they are old guys who hate technology. Steel and wood is all they want. Plastic and aluminum is blasphemy.

    I refer to an AR (or any gun similar) to be a modern rifle, not a modern “sporting” rifle. Having “sporting” in the label is not any better than the usage of “assault” rifle.

    We could refer to detachable magazine rifles as repeating rifles instead of semi automatics. As politicians want any gun with more than one round capacity taken from non government workers, it would look idiotic to argue the removal of all repeating firearms, which can be a very old handgun to any modern repeating rifle. Using the word “automatic” leads people to believe it means “fully automatic,” especially with rifles.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Brilliant. Seriously. I’m a lever gun lover, don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself.

      I’m keenly attuned to the language used to frame issues, and none of the alternatives to “semi-auto” have resonated until now. I can totally get behind “repeating rifle” and I intend to popularize the term.

      In fact, here is the next step: the AR-platform rifles are modular repeating rifles. Doesn’t that have a great ring to it?

      Dammit, now I’m going to have to write and submit a TTAG article on this to get this idea out of my head…

  34. avataruncommon_sense says:

    I believe many hunters as well as many firearm owners will not care about an “assault rifle” ban because they think it doesn’t affect them and that “citizens have no legitimate reason to own weapons of war.”

    We have to educate them about these two important FACTS …
    Fact 1: Gun control simply means citizen disarmament enacted in several steps. Thus the gun grabbers will eventually come for everyone’s guns. If anyone scoffs, tell them about the progression. First the government banned fully automatic firearms. Then some jurisdictions banned handguns. Then they banned “assault rifles” and limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds for all firearms. The federal legislation that Feinstein recently announced will ban many semi-automatic shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Now New York has a 7 round limit. And Connecticut recently introduced legislation making anything beyond a single shot firearm illegal.
    Fact 2: There are two important reasons for citizens to own “weapons of war”. First, if police need them to respond to attacks on citizens, then citizens need them to respond to those same types of attacks since they themselves will be the actual targets of those attacks. Second, any citizen could be thrust into war in their own neighborhood. The attack could come from criminal gangs, mobs, riots, foreign armies, or even their own State or U.S. government gone rogue.

    If all hunters and firearm owners knew and understood these two facts, most of them would oppose the recent swell of citizen disarmament activity.

    • avatarAaron says:

      I live in FL, so we know that once a hurricane comes through, the police aren’t coming anytime soon, and if someone comes to steal your generator or other things, you’re the police. Also, I have been actively going out and giving flyers for this state capitol thing tomorrow, and I ran into one guy who replied: “No I am not concerned, I am going hunting that day…” I do not understand that kind of apathy when his bolt/pump action long gun will be next. We must surely hang together or hang separately. I hope to see all of my 2A-loving brothers and sisters at your capitol tomorrow.

  35. avatarAccur81 says:

    It’s a mix. I wasn’t an AR fan in my 20′s. I thought the 5.56 was too small of a caliber, and therefore pretty much useless. I still think the 5.56 is pretty small, but I love the ergonomics and flexibility of the AR platform. Now, I’m an AR fan and I’ve helped a lot of folks buy and shoot ARs.

    When hunters realize that their .300 Win Mags are sniper rifles, their .308s are “a more deadly version” of the 5.56, and their tools are “unnecessary accurate and dangerous,” they will be on board. Heck, I’ve changed some since I first started posting on TTAG.

    If people can be persuasive with FUDs and old hunters, they will likely find an important ally. The facts are there – clearly the antis want to ban everything. Be nice and argue with facts and reasonable people will come around. Everyone else is a lost cause.

    • avatar40&2000 says:

      The “unnecessary accurate” type argument is one I used on a hunter friend recently. I pointed out that muzzle breaks are considered evil because they make shooting a easier and potentially more accurate. Verticle front grips and pistol grips-same thing. It’s not much of a stretch from there to scopes being “totally unnecessary” and “unsportsmanlike”. It also helped that I knew he had a muzzle brake on his rifle and couldn’t believe it would be considered an “evil” feature.

  36. avatarChuckN says:

    For hunters I give 50/50.
    50% will stand with us. 50% will either be against
    or be of the “it’ll never happen to me” crowd.

    Hunting organizations, however, will be completely
    in the bag for The Exalted One.

  37. avatarIn Memphis says:

    If they wont fight then we will lose our sniper rifles. Then we will all have to get our meat from the grocery store instead.

    *Sarcasm Off*

  38. avatartdiinva says:

    Why do you assume that hunters are not standing up for the Second Amendment? Remember that when you read a piece in the HuffPo where a hunter friend says “I am OK with a ban” it is probably an imaginary friend. A vast majority of hunters are not on aboard with restricting semiautomatic rifles especially bird hunters who use pump and semiauto shotguns all the time.

  39. avatarmarty eppes says:

    Apparently not many hunters follow ttag but I believe that there are more of us hunters that use ar’s than you think. Don’t count us all out.

  40. In the western states AR rifles are the most popular hunting rifles out there. Unlike the east and midwest, we have a lot more coyote and varmint hunters than big game hunters.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      In vast swathes of the Eastern US you simply cannot hunt with a rifle. You are required to use a shotgun with slugs. In these areas, such as most of NJ and much of eastern New England, bolt-action rifles are losing their status as hunting arms slowly but surely.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        On the other hand, a whole generation of hunters is learning to love their gas- or recoil-driven repeating shotgun. It should be easy to make the case that they will be hunting with single-shot break-opens or black powder in the not too distant future if this is allowed to continue.

  41. avatarGregolas says:

    Near Montgomery, AL, in 1989, a pack of coyotes was attacking cows at night. After losing one, a fed-up farmer staked out his pasture the next night. He had his Ruger Mini-14 with a 30-rd mag.
    When the pack attacked, he killed over 20. They never came back. Hence, at least one use a farmer had for an “assault rifle”.

  42. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Thats maybe a job for the NRA. I assume many hunters are NRA members & would probably start to listen with an open mind if prodded. We know one thing for sure, the hunters are the EF Hutton of the gun world, Randy

  43. avatarJustice06RR says:

    Strict “hunters” probably not. Now a Pro-2A firearms enthusiast and hunter, Yes.

  44. avatarTuned Up Some says:

    I grew up on a farm, hunted and still do. I think you all need to get to know a few more hunters….and farmers. Especially the ones under 60. My family and the crew I hunt w/ all own anything they can afford/ get their hands on including Mr. AR. They believe in our Constitution as well.

  45. avatarColoradoGunOwner says:

    I hunt and I will stand up for the 2nd as I know it’s true purpose. To defend against tyranny and my own government. So please don’t lump me in with the likes of Panetta who say they hunt and understand the 2nd but don’t understand why a civilian needs and “assault weapon”. First it’s not an assault weapon or assault rifle and you are the reason we need them with your elitist attitude.

    • avatarColoradoGunOwner says:

      I also stand for the 2nd because I enjoy shooting my pistols with there standard mags and not some neutered 10 or 7 round mag. As I’ve said before if we give in even a little it’s never going to stop until they’ve taken it all from us. Plus shooting and AR is a lot of fun hell any semi auto is fun to shoot. So I state again I’m a hunter and I will not stand for any ban that infringes on my
      RIGHT.

  46. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Open letter to the hunters// Lets say you don’t help us, lets say you also feel that no one needs those AR’s. Whats going to happen? Guess what, your hunting 30-06′s etc are going to be used for self defense(far fetched? read the posts here). What happens when the first no limit gangbanger is blown apart with a 30-06 & his mother gets on TV crying because he was killed with a “wild animal rifle”. Think you can laugh that off? What happens when the first police officers get blown apart with a 30-06 in spite of their vests, think the bradys will laugh that off? Reflect on that as you go hunting with your son & your innocent rifle. Randy

  47. avatarAlan says:

    I own mostly lever action rifles, bolt action rifles, overunders, pumps and wheel guns. I plan to buy a black rifle soon. I am afraid the current attemps to ban will go after my Berretta 390s or my Glock, after all they are the scary semi autos. Any legislation is too much.

  48. avatarDavid says:

    May I humbly suggest the use of the term/phrase “gas-operated” when referring to firearms that do not require a manual action. It covers semi-auto, full-auto, and burst; there are some auto and semi-auto firearms that do not use case from the cartidge but those are far from common (only the mini-gun comes to mind). So yeah – “gas-operated” :)

    • avatarMark N. says:

      My 1911 is recoil operated, not gas operated. So are most semi-auto pistols of .38 cal and higher. My blowback Sig Mosquito is “gas operated.”

      • avatarMoonshine says:

        The only commonly-available pistol that is truly “gas-operated” is the DEagle. AI, correct me if I’m mistaken, please.

        • avatarJoe Grine says:

          And Desert Eagles are now banned in New York because they violate the 50 oz rule.

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          Hi-Points the exception in the “common” calibers (9mm, .40, and .45). They’re direct blowback, not recoil operated, like most pistols in those calibers.

  49. avatarDrVino says:

    I like Guns, Guitars and Wine.
    I only recently got into reading gun blogs.
    Getting wine people to agree on some things is like herding cats.
    Getting gun people to agree on the 2A may be harder.

  50. avatarKLB says:

    New hunters (gun culture 2.0): probably.

    Old hunters (the original sportsmen): probably not.

  51. avatarCA_Chris says:

    Note the lack of specifics in his argument. He makes claims about the use and usefulness of AR-15s and other semi-automatic guns without any effort to justify labeling them weapons of war.

    There is no comparison or contrast of features, no discussion of tactical use, no history of firearms or mention of the long standing American tradition and Right to keep the military arms of the day in ones home.

    Regardless, the AR-15 is not a military rifle because it lacks the specific features that the military requires in its rifles; not to mention that the features that define an American military rifle come from the strategic decisions of a professional military, and do not in fact make for a more deadly rifle outside of the specific weapon systems and tactics that our military employs.

    And these facts carry even more weight when one studies the data from the CDC and FBI and finds that rifles and shotguns of all types account for less than 3% of murder weapons. The so-called “assault rifles” are involved in only a fraction of that 3%, even including the spree killings we have seen this year.

    These are not more dangerous weapons, these are simply newer technology in the form of modularity and customizability. The AR-15 is popular and thrives because it is more than the old-fashioned rifle that comes in a box and you’re done; you can change out any or every piece of it, you can tweak and adjust until it fits to your goals. The AR-15 is not the nuclear option of rifles, it is the home-built PC. It is the rifle that enthusiasts identify not by a singular label, but by a list of parts and modifications. One might not even say “AR-15″ at any point while describing ones’ favorite rifle build. The AR-15 is an entire economy of parts, often made right here in the US, keeping US money and the labor it represents to the benefit of the working people in this country.

    Nor are AR-15 owners dangerous. The millions of owners of “assault weapons” here in the US are no more likely to commit murder with their rifles than the average owner of a home-built PC is to try to hack a bank. We don’t try to ban hundred of millions of computers because of a handful of irresponsible or criminal users, do we? No, and we should not.

  52. avatarJoe Grine says:

    First they came for the Jews and I did nothing because I was not a Jew…..

    you know the rest of the story.

  53. avatarLarry says:

    I hunt white tail with my AR. I know lots of people that do. I wish they would speak up somehow. Using 70grain Barns TSX gets it done every time.

    Where I live I have not taken a deer beyond 100 yards and typically its between 40& 80 yards. For a few years I used iron sights. The last few years a red dot, which is pretty easy out to about 100 yards.

    Oh and I belong to the NRA

  54. avatarSGC says:

    I think the old Elmer Fudd types will not support, but probably the younger crowd will. Sadly, we are divided, and if we allow this divide to continue it just gives the other side a wedge to use against us. I wish the Fudds would get on board…but that probably ain’t gonna happen…

  55. avatarMF says:

    What’s this business about weapons designed for warfare? Won’t people address the fact that almost ALL so called “hunting” rifles are based on old military designs and actions. No one would question a Mauser Model 1889 or Mosin Nagant however they were designed by standing armies specifically for warfare. During times of peace, soldiers then used the rifles they became proficient with for hunting and sport. Civilians join in yet stick to what they just learned and forego advancements and here we are a hundred or so years later with Elmer Fudds and people that know nothing about firearms crying foul. Well a big FU to them all! Why won’t people see this is an issue about civil rights and subversion of the protected right of the 2nd which only opens the door to restrict the others.

    • avatarNinja says:

      You are right on. I went into detail about the difference between the actual military service rifles and their civilian counterparts.

  56. avatarNinja says:

    Before you start talking about “Military style” and “assault rifle” let me ask you people, how many of you have actually served in the military? How many of you can actually distinguish an actual assault rifle and an AR-15? I served 8 years in the military all of which has been in combat arms Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). The standard issue service rifle or assault rifle is the M16A4 or the M-4 Carbine. These are already ILLEGAL for the public to own. What makes these weapons different is not the mere cosmetics… would you agree that a BB gun that looks like an M16 or M4 carbine is an assault rifle? Probably not. What makes these weapons different is the rate of fire which is capable of. Being a former marine infantryman, I know these weapons well. The sustained rate of fire is 15 rounds per minute, on burst it is 90 rounds per minute, and the cyclic rate of fire is 950 rounds per minute. That’s not a typo, that is nine-hundred-and-fifty rounds per minute. Well, what about the AR-15? The AR 15 is only capable of SEMI-AUTOMATIC. This means, that it will only fire ONE round, and ONE round ONLY every time the trigger is pulled. So, what is the rate of fire for the AR-15? The rate of fire, depends on the operator. He can only fire as fast as he can pull the trigger, I would say the average being 75 rounds per minute as the cyclic rate of fire… This is NOT “military style” or the definition of “assault rifle”.

    Going back to the term “semi-automatic”… ANY firearm that fires one round everytime the trigger is pulled is considered semi-automatic. Now, you say having some guns for personal defense is acceptable, well, this pretty much eliminates most handguns with the exception of revolvers. So, now we’re down to 6 rounds… with no extra magazines for a quick reload. Well, maybe we can make exceptions with handguns and allow semi-automatics, but we’ll keep it to 10 rounds. Hmmm… there are numerous incidents of police officers trying to shoot badguys and would fire in excess of 40-50 rounds to get 1 guy. These officers are TRAINED and for the most part, know what they are about to get into. If these trained, professional law enforcement officers need this much to defend themselves, why would you limit yourself to 10 rounds? You don’t have to take my word for any of what I just said and do your own research, I would actually encourage you, instead of just believing whatever you hear in the media, but let me assure you, when you are in a life in death situation, and the adrenaline is pumping, you move differently, react differently. These limitations will only limit the law-abiding citizens from defending themselves, or at the very least, gives the bad guys the advantage. Bad guys being bad guys will not be deterred by a ban on guns or magazine limits (as in Chicago highest gun related crime rate AND has the STRICTEST gun laws)… I sure hope that I nor any of you reading this will ever be in a situation where the bad guys are threatening your life of your loved ones, but if you ever are, I would hope that you, being a law-abiding citizen, have every advantage to overcome the situation.

    What has happened recently has been a tragedy, no one argues that. But we cannot fight hysteria with hysteria. Something must be done, there’s no doubt about that either. But why take away the rights of an entire nation because of the actions of one sick individual? Prevention? There was an assault weapons ban between 1994 and 2004, since the lift of the ban, violent crimes in general, including gun related crimes declined (this is according to the FBI webpage not some biased media source). Fact is, evil people exist. They exist, limitations on guns or not. The same day Sandy Hook happened, a man in China did something very similar, only difference is that he did it with a knife. Virginia Tech incident occured during the last assault weapons ban.

    The real question is, “What do we do from preventing this from happening again?” Good news is that the American people on both sides wants action. Bad news is that we’re not in agreement on what that should be. The gun laws we have in place now are sufficient, before you say it is not, please find out what is actually required when you purchase a firearm, because if I was to bet everyone that is reading this that they haven’t purchased one before, I would win more that I would lose. The gun laws we have now is as good as is gets. Further limitations just takes away the rights of others with no results. I am also a father and my kids are in kindergarten and 3 grade. I worry about their safety just as much as you for yours. I do not want what happened to happen to my children, your children, or anyone ‘s children. The problem that we must address is our society. Our culture revolves around violence and individualism. Education. Research shows that people with higher education are less likely to commit violent crimes. We must invest more in our education. Truly, education is the key to solving most of America’s problems. It’s not a quick fix… nothing is, which is another of American society’s bad traight, we want quick fixes and instant gratification. If we start investing more into or education system, America will heal. While we wait for that investment to pay off, that still leaves us with the immediate problem of what can we do now to prevent another horrible crime from happening again. Well, for starters, we can pay more taxes to hire more police officers to secure our schools or we can arm SOME and not all of the teachers and the staff. I’m not saying start handing out guns to all the teachers. I say, those who are willing to VOLOUNTEER, will undergo an extensive FBI background checks and proper training. These requirements are already in place and required from all gunowners. Teachers in Israel carry actual Assault Rifles (recall the difference I mentioned earlier) to defend their students with. I’m not suggesting arming OUR teacher with assault rifles, that those that are willing should be able to carry a pistol on their person concealed. This will not only save taxpayer money, but will actually raise tax revenue, because they will have to pay the fees for the classes, fingerprinting process (which btw, is about $140), and FBI background check.

  57. i personaly dont own an AR or bushmaster but feel it is my right if i choose to! everyone wants to know why anyone needs one and it’s simple really. the constitution says we havew the right to defend ourselves agfainst a tyrantical government. look around folks. thats what we have! they are taking over. first our healthcare, letting voter fraud run wild, wanting our guns and supporting terrorist groups and contries. it’s here now people and mark my words, there will be another Cival War here in this Country!

  58. avatarIan Paris says:

    Since, no one can escape the news and debate over “assault weapons” i asked some friends here in L.A what was their stand… And most of the statements sound the same : “we can’t have people running around with weapons shooting 800 rounds/min…”

    Well what is an Assault weapon ? A weapon used to commit an assault… So assaulting with a screwdriver makes the screwdriver an “assault weapon”…. now, let ask AR 15..
    What iz that ?… It is the civilian version of the M16… It shoots 1 single bullet at a time, unlike the M16 that shoots 1, or 3, or 800 rounds/minute… WHat is the difference between handgun and AR 15 ? design … And yes AR15 can be used to hunt, BECAUSE IT SHOOTS 1 BULLET at a time…. Only it is lighter and more accurate than other hunting rifles…
    No an AR 15 CANNOT be transformed (at least not easily) into an M16… and it’s been under tight restrictions since 1986 under : National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(3)… the AR-15 is a semi auto rifle, meaning when the bullet goes, another one enters the chamber… But the operator must press again to get the next bullet to go..just like a semi auto handgun…

    SO, NO an AR is NOT a “machine gun” like established by law in 1986 !!! It is NOT automatic, thus doesn’t shoot endlessly….

    Now these weapons are involved in 0.6% of the violent crimes committed, and death by guns ranks 7th in the US…after Tobbacco, Alcohol, obesity, toxin/medication, Motor vehicle, infectious diseases..and before sexual transmitted diseases, and drugs…

    ANd yes fists have killed more than Assault rifles last year in the US…

    Then i find out that most of the peeps i asked also voted against Prop 37, because “it was going to raise the price of food…”…. YEs if you just repeat what your TV tells you, and do what it tells you to do… It’s a free country and you can…

  59. avatarfelix says:

    Most hunters dont seem to care, until its thier weapons. But they dont realize thier weapons are next!

  60. avatarWilliam says:

    If anyone has to answer the question, we’ve already lost. NO ANSWER IS NECESSARY.

  61. avatarGranny Grunch says:

    Wait till the Bambi killing fuds lose their scope mounted hunting rifle,their autolaoding and pump action shotguns…oh my…the humanity. Maybe they will be allowed to keep their single shot stevens.

  62. avatarIdahoPete says:

    “I respect the right to bear arms and support the Second Amendment. But …”

    That last word tells you that you are about to hear from an anti-gun twit pretending to support the Constitution.

    The correct term is “But-head”.

  63. avatarJoseph says:

    I’m an Illinios hunter of pheasant and deer and I’m concerned.

    I use an 870 with a rifled barrel and a Weatherby SA-08. The Weatherby has the synthetic stock and, while definitely a gun for hunting of clays, is right on the edge of many of the bans proposed around the country.

    It’s not fair that so many responsible people are going to be punished for the stupidity of irresponsible people misusing firearms in a very public manner.

    In my research on this subject I am shocked by the numbers. The number of deaths by firearms have been so dramatically decreased and this is due to education on firearm safety. The more people we introduce to firearms in a safe environment, the more people will support our cause. This goes for your hunter friends that have never shot anything on an AR platform.

  64. avatarRalph says:

    Traditional hunters — those who use bolt action rifles and pump and O/U shotguns for birds and game — are afraid of ARs. Those hunters will toss us under the bus, and then the bus will run them over.

    • avatarhog611 says:

      You hit the nail on the head Ralph.
      The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting.
      It is there to keep the People Armed against what I fear is the Government that we have now.
      The AR Rifle is by far the best platform to have and there are numerous
      reasons that is so including the reasons that the Powers that are today want them banned. Do you think that People Armed with AR Rifles and know how to use them are going to go down as easy as the ones with Bolt Action Firearms??? No is the snswer !! The People that don’t like Firearms and dont own any will be begging the ones that do to help protect their Family !! You are not going to be left out just because you chose not to bear arms.
      Listen, Trust me on this, You had better get behind the folks that own AR type Firearms and hope and pray that they prevail !!

    • avatarMichael says:

      I agree, and I think that cut-off is somewhere around 50-60 years of age, at least here in the Southeast/deep south. Over that age, they grew up with single shots, revolvers, bolt, lever and pump guns with wood and blue. Many hunted upland, dove, deer and turkey but are getting in poor health and can’t or don’t hunt anymore. They never visit a shooting range. They may shoot clays with an O/U.

      Younger guys (myself included) are less traditional. Unfortunately, we’re also much fewer in number. We own polymer pistols, synthetic semiauto shotguns, and even our “traditional” bolt rifles are black synthetic. Of course we have ARs and possibly even hunt with them. Many don’t hunt at all but do shoot at a range.

      Unfortunately, there are just more of the “traditional” older guys, and they’re more politically active – the number of hunters is always in decline, and the younger guys with “modern firearms” don’t have political influence. (All my opinion as a 31-year old hunter and shooter from the second category above)

  65. avatarBHirsh says:

    We need to educate the Fudds about why the 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights, and show them in black letter precedent (Miller, Heller, McDonald) that whether or not they deem them important in their day-to-day lives, keeping and bearing military pattern small arms is EXACTLY what the amendment was written to protect.

    “With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such [militia] forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.” – UNITED STATES v. MILLER, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) 307 U.S. 174

  66. avatarBrian says:

    All of the people who do not support my right to own handguns and so called “assault rifles” with “high capacity” magazines need to change their attitude. Because the moment that all of my guns and magazines are taken, I will join an anti-gun group and advocate that all other firearms be confiscated and destroyed too. No one “NEEDS” to hunt because the grocery stores are full of food. You folks do not want to support my rights, then there is no reason for me to support yours. Please pass that message on to your friends who hunt. I already have.

    • avatarhog611 says:

      Brian, You need not worry. If they get the AR and Mags the Semi-auto Shotguns and bolt rifles will follow soon. They better make no mistake and think otherwise

    • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

      Today’s “reasonable gun owner” is tomorrow’s “gun nut”.

  67. avatarJoseph says:

    I will stand up for my right to us an AR to hunt with…For those who don’t know me that I am disabled…I have a major shoulder, neck, and back injuries when I was younger and am now forced to live with chronic pain… I use an AR because I am able to shoot it more then once and not have to spend the next 3 days trying to get the pain to go away or at least be reduced to a level I am able to handle… The AR’s are designed to be modified by the owner and not cost hundreds to thousands of dollars at a gunsmith (no offence). I am able to reduce My AR’s recoil to the level to that of my .22 bolt action… I am able to buy parts for modifications to help me brace or steady in the effort to help me shoot more accurately… I can’t shoot my .30-.30 or my .303 enfield or even my Remington shotgun because the recoil is so violent… Now it there is a rifle out there that I am able to modify myself in minutes to reduce the recoil and the stability so I can shoot for even a half hour at the range. Plus if I was able to use the same rifle to hunt that cost’s less then $1000 for the total rifle and mod’s I would grudgingly give up my AR… However, I have not seen or heard of another rifle that is not considered a scary (insult) assault rifle that matches my description, and I have looked, and continue too look…
    Besides, I am not the only person with similar situation or needs in the USA that hunts… People need to step back, take a breath, and look and the real problems… People need to (literally) just grow up and be an adult and work to help or fix the real problem of not gun violence, but just violence which the media has down played to look like all of the violent crime in america is all done with a gun…
    Do we want to reduce violent, illegal, act’s that kill thousands of Americans each year. Get ride of the drivers who are drunk or on drugs… That would be a good start, or even start with medical professionals… That would save thousands of lives each year and millions of dollars…

  68. avatarhog611 says:

    Well thay had better stand up and help stop this.
    You would b very dumb to believe that they will stop with AR Rifles, that just happens to be at the top of the list right now !!!!

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