“Assault weapon” is a meaningless and politically elastic term.
Demonstrating that the agenda drives the definition, President Biden’s nominees to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) both refused to commit to any intelligible definition. David Chipman, Biden’s initial and unsuccessful choice for ATF director, famously flubbed a straightforward request to define an “assault weapon” during his Senate confirmation hearing. After telling Sen. John Kennedy (R., La.) that he believed in banning “assault weapons,” Chipman was unable or unwilling to say what he meant by that phrase.