The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) was passed in 1994 and represents one of the more wide ranging and extensive pieces of legislation passed on the ability of American citizens to own and use certain kinds of firearms on a federal level.
The Assault Weapon Ban was approved as such under the administration of President Clinton. The AWB was distinguished, apart from its wide ranging nature, in terms of being set for just a ten year period in which it would continue to apply to American gun ownership rights.
In addition to creating restrictions on certain kinds of firearms, in terms of allowable ownership and use, the Assault Weapon Ban also required and accordingly involved the procedure of assault weapons being defined as such under law, as had not previously been the case. The Federal Assault Weapon Ban ceased to possess legal standing on September 13, 2004.
The Federal AWB was generally understood to apply to specific kinds of semi automatic weapons which had been converted from having previously been fully automatic guns. The Federal Assault Weapon Ban was passed into law by Congress as a part of the larger package of legislation referred to as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.
Under the restrictions that it created on allowable rights for ownership, the AWB put into effect limitations of possession in regard to nineteen different kinds of guns. The AWB did not apply to guns which had been purchased prior to the law going into effect.