A 22-year police veteran and competitive shooter said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday that she would be among a mass non-compliance movement in the event of a federal ban on semi-automatic “assault weapons.”
In her comments Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Dianna Muller said a potential ban on semi-automatic firearms would force many otherwise lawful gun-owners to decide whether to comply or become a criminal, adding that she herself “will not comply with an assault weapons ban,” as reported by Fox News.
“Please don’t legislate the 150 million people just like me into being criminals. It has happened,” Muller said.
As one example of laws raising the issue of compliance, Muller referenced a prior decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to ban bump stocks; a device that reciprocates against the recoil of a semi-automatic firearm and allows it to fire rapidly.
“I was a bump stock owner, and I had to make a decision: do I become a felon, or do I comply?” Muller said.
Muller went on to question the practicality of a ban over what she suggested are largely cosmetic features of certain firearms. She and other gun-rights advocates at the hearing suggested AR-15s – a frequent subject of “assault weapons” ban proposals – are not functionally distinct from any other type of semi-automatic hunting rifles.
Rep. David Cicilline countered the suggestion that a change in laws would amount to a hunting rifle ban as there would be carve-outs for more than 200 weapons in his own formulation of an “assault weapons” ban bill.
Cicilline also said recent comments by Democratic presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke in which he said “hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15,” did not help discussions on how an “assault weapons” ban could work.
The issue of non-compliance is one that has been raised even among existing gun control legislation.
In recent assessments of New Jersey’s “large-capacity” magazine ban, there have been no reported turn-over of any of the banned magazines, as well as large numbers of New Jersey residents choosing other lawful storage options or even hiding the banned magazines unlawfully.
A similar issue has taken place in New York where fewer than 10 percent of gun owners have complied with the state’s “assault weapons” registration measure.
The Wednesday hearing followed in the wake of several mass shootings, for which lawmakers have suggested new gun control measures, including a ban “assault weapons” like AR-15s and new background checks.
In her own testimony, Heritage Foundation senior legal policy analyst Amy Swearer lauded the use of semi-automatic rifles for defensive purposes in the home. Swearer said her mother had found difficulty using handguns to shoot accurately, but had learned she was much more proficient when she shot an AR-15.
The Trump administration has also reportedly begun deliberations on new gun control policies. Trump has apparently considered measures to expand existing background checks to apply to private person-to-person transfers that are currently exempted, though Trump has apparently missed expected time-frames to deliver such proposals.