"Assault Weapon" is a made up term by anti 2nd ammendment people, just as "cop killer bullets", "saturday nightspecial" are. Semi-automatic pistols have been around since the1890's(Mauser) in Europe, and 1899 by John Browing in America. Browning invented the 1st semi-auto shotgun in 1900, Winchester the 1st semi auto rifle in .22 rimfire caliber in1903 (though the Germans were working on one in the 1880's). In 1905 Winchester created the 1st center fire semi auto rifle, followed in 1906 by Remington with a rifle developed by John Browning. These firearms shoot the same way as today's "Military style semi automatic Assault Weapons"-you pull the trigger, the gun fires and reloads itself. They are not machine guns, bannedsince 1934.