The New York TimesThe New York Times

Democrats Failed to Extend Assault Weapons Ban in 2004. They Regret It.

By Glenn Thrush

10 Jun 2022 · 6 min read

WASHINGTON — In late 1993, Democrats were on the cusp of a legislative triumph that seems inconceivable in today’s polarized debate over gun control: They were about to outlaw an entire class of firearms — semi-automatic assault rifles — as part of a big bipartisan crime bill.

But to win over moderates in both parties, they made a pair of concessions that to proponents seemed relatively modest, exempting more than 2,200 firearms from the list of prohibited weapons and requiring that the ban be renewed in 10 years.

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