“Congress explicitly banned AR-15s and other semiautomatic rifles that fit its definition of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004.
Since that law expired 14 years ago, in most states it has been just as easy to buy an AR-15-style gun as it is in Florida. (Buyers can also purchase the weapon in person or online from private sellers who are not required to perform a background check — an exemption known as the “gun show loophole.”)
Only New York, California, Washington, D.C., and five other states have their own assault-weapon bans, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Washington, D.C., and eight states also limit the large capacity magazines that have made many mass shootings so deadly. Even so, there have been efforts to circumvent the bans, legally and illegally, by making minor changes to the weapons.”