[80] David B. Kopel and Eric C. Morgan, The Assault Weapon Panic: Political Correctness Takes Aim at the Constitution, (Independance Institute, April 1993), p. 15. Semiautomatic-only rifles which look like military assault rifles are offered for civilian sale by many firearm manufacturers. Civilian versions of military assault rifles are incapable of automatic fire, and contrary to the assertions made by firearm prohibitionists, are very difficult to convert to automatic.

The semiautomatic AKS rifle made in mainland China, and which has been sold to thousands of law-abiding Canadians, cannot be fired automatically but is erroneously referred to by prohibitionists as an "AK-47 assault rifle". Similarly, Colt's AR-15 Sporter semiautomatic rifle resembles the US Army M-16 assault rifle. Guns like the AKS and AR-15 are functionally similar to other "sporting" semiautomatics, their "military" appearance has made them a visible target for restriction and prohibition.