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Basically a scary looking gun that gun grabbers think is too scary for normal people to have.
Wimpy gun grabber: We're not familiar with guns, but these ones LOOK ominous
by Dan March 01, 2004
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Term coined by Violence Policy Center head Josh Sugarmann to describe cililian semiautomatic firearms with a military or fearsome appearance, yet no more lethality than lesser weapons. Derived from the term "assault rifle", which means a fully automatic, selective fire rate firearm used my military and police personnel.
"Assault weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons --anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun-- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."
by 1Spectre4U November 12, 2003
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A stupid, ignorant, and uninformed way of saying entirely safe semi auto rifle. Typically used in liberal/Californian vocabulary or slang.
"Hey did you here that that disgusting hetero freak used an assault weapon to defend his life and property! What a disgusting pig! "
by 420dankboi420 March 09, 2018
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An amorphous term coined by those who support gun control. Applied to semi-automatic weapons that cosmetically resemble fully automatic firearms.
When gun manufacturers began making these so-called assault weapons without the things that made them look menacing, the gun grabbers cried that a "loophole" was found. Well, duh...they would be the last to see that the changes were cosmetic in nature.
by tradesman February 09, 2005
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A term created for the 1994 "Assault Weapons Ban," which banned firearms based on appearance, brand name, and features not related to firearm function. A proper definition of this word requires the entire 1994 act, so feel free to look it up.

The term "assault weapon" has no industry or military definition. It was created to give a single name to all of the firearms politicians wanted to ban in 1994. Opponents of the 1994 ban refer to it more accurately as the "Semi-Auto" ban.
by ed July 25, 2004
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Any firewarm that is made out to look scary so that banning the civilian posession of it will appear politically correct to hypocritical sycophants who think that only governments and criminals should have guns and that fascist police states that arbitrarily massacre their own citizens are the best thing since sliced bread.
My god - that rimfire's not a plinker, it's a goddam assault weapon!
by Lior Bar-On June 15, 2004
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*A firearm that is full-auto and capable of firing multiple rounds by holding the trigger.

*Apparently, a firearm that looks "menacing", or equipped with cool add-ons. Generally considered by the NRA as "an emotional response from gun-violence". On a related note, ALL shotguns are considered "assault weapons".
"My Mossberg has compensators on the muzzle. I guess that makes it an assault weapon. Oh wait. It already is."
by Dave February 26, 2005
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