Barrasso Blocks Attempt To Revive 1994 Assault Weapons Ban

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso on Wednesday quickly shut down an attempt by Democrats to revive the 1994 assault weapons ban. “I oppose any policies that jeopardize the Second Amendment," Barrasso said.

Mark Heinz

December 06, 20232 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

An attempt by U.S. Senate Democrats to revive the 1994-2004 assault weapons ban Wednesday was immediately blocked by U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming.

Calling the Second Amendment “freedom’s safeguard” in a statement released shortly after the measure was blocked, Barrasso claimed the measure, introduced by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, would have burdened Wyomingites.

“Almost every single page of this bill adds new restrictions and new burdens on people who follow the law,” Barrasso said. “It tells you what you can buy and what you cannot buy. It bans more than 205 popular rifles, shotguns and pistols by name.

“I oppose any policies that jeopardize the Second Amendment rights of the people of Wyoming and across the country.”

That Was Fast

A Wyoming gun rights advocate said he was amazed at how quickly Schumer’s bill was defeated.

Gun Owners of America spokesman Mark Jones of Buffalo said he was aware that the bill had been introduced early Wednesday, but didn’t know about it being blocked until receiving a call from Cowboy State Daily.

“That happened fast. I was hoping that, had the majority of the Democrats in the Senate approved it, that it wouldn’t have made it through the Republican-controlled House,” he said. “I’m glad that Senator Barrasso stepped up. It’s good news.”

An Old Ban Would Have Been New Again

Schumer argued that the ban should be reinstated because of mass shootings. But Barrasso, who blocked the bill by unanimous consent, stated on the Senate floor that the ban was an attempt to “label responsible gun owners as criminals.”

The original ban was implemented in 1994 and expired a decade later. It covered a number of semiautomatic firearms, as well as some high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter