On Tuesday, Daily Wire Editor-at-Large Josh Hammer joined "Tipping Point With Liz Wheeler" on One America News Network (OANN) to discuss a Daily Wire op-ed he had written earlier this week. Hammer's op-ed, entitled "Conservatives Must Not Go Soft On 'Assault Weapons,'" was written in response to a New York Post editorial calling for precisely that.
Wheeler and Hammer discussed why it is crucially important that conservatives not yield an inch on banning any new classes of semiautomatic weapons. Wheeler began by asking Hammer — who is also a constitutional attorney specializing in religious liberty — whether the term "assault weapon" has any legal relevance, or whether it is instead a term merely used as a political cudgel.
Hammer did not mince words in his response.
Legally speaking, [Democrats] completely fabricated it as part of the 1994 so-called "assault weapons" ban. Dianne Feinstein of California helped write this legislation. Liz, I've actually heard off the record from some people I've met in ATF — Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms — that they were contacted by Dianne Feinstein's staff during the drafting on this law in 1994 just to ask basic rudimentary questions as to what a flash suppressor is, what a pistol grip is. They had no idea what they were doing — they literally created this term for purposes of banning a cosmetically amorphous and technically undefinable subclass of weapons just to seize and ban them from the populace. And according to DOJ's own statistics — this ban lasted 10 years from 1994 to 2004 — it had no impact whatsoever on crime.
Hammer continued, mentioning how he "adore[s]" his own AR-style rifle and sending a very simple message to Democrats who would try to ban it: "Come and take it."
Liz, I'm a proud AR-15 owner — I have a Daniel Defense rifle that I absolutely adore. You know what my response is to Joe Biden and to these other people who are talking about a gun buyback program? I think I speak on behalf of millions and millions of law-abiding Americans here. Four words: Come and take it. This is not happening.
Wheeler, channeling a Clarence Thomas dissent that Hammer flagged in his Daily Wire op-ed, then mentioned how, regardless of policy efficacy, such a ban on "assault weapons" would be unconstitutional under the U.S. Supreme Court's own tests. Wheeler then asked Hammer how, if conservatives were to cave to the Left on banning a new sub-class of semiautomatic weapons, this does not end with a full ban on all semiautomatic weapons. Hammer responded:
That is the million dollar question here. Fully automatic weapons, which as your viewers I'm sure know, are weapons that when you hold down the trigger, the bullets basically fire in rapid succession, are effectively banned under the National Firearms Act of 1934. There is a way to get them, but it is an incredibly arduous, expensive process that exceedingly few people go through. So we're talking within the category of semiautomatic weapons — the weapons that, obviously, one pull of the trigger releases one cartridge.
Within that, where can you possibly stop? In the New York Post editorial that you reference, Liz, they talk about muzzle velocity. I mean, how the heck is our legislature possibly equipped to ban categories of semiautomatic weapons based on something like muzzle velocity? It makes no sense whatsoever. We've already eliminated fully automatic weapons from circulation, so within the sphere of semiautomatic weapons, once you cave on what the Left is calling quote-unquote "assault weapons," the Glock 19 is next. My little Sig Sauer P238 concealed carry handgun is next. That is where they're going and that, at the end of day, is absolutely why we cannot cave an inch on banning any new class of weapons whatsoever.