I recently got into a discussion with somebody, as they tried to explain to me that both Assault weapons and Pistols were actually completely useless in 8th edition. He did not mean "useless" as in "not as good as other options", but as "the rules as written mean they don't give any advantage".
The Basic Rule Book for 8th Edition contains the following phrase regarding "Advancing":
When you pick a unit to move in the Movement phase, you can declare that it will Advance. Roll a dice and add the result to the Move characteristics of all models in the unit for that Movement phase. A unit that Advances can't shoot or charge later that turn.
The section regarding assault weapons states the following:
A model with an Assault weapon can fire even if it Advanced earlier that turn. If it does so, you must subtract 1 from any hit rolls made when firing that weapon this turn.
Likewise the section regarding pistols states the following:
A model can fire a pistol even if there are enemy units within 1" of its own unit, but it must target the closest enemy unit. [...]
The rules in the section 1. Choose Unit to Shoot with states the following:
[...] First, you must pick one of your units to shoot with. You may not pick a unit that Advanced or Fell Back this turn, or a unit that is within 1" of an enemy unit. [...]
His argument was now as follows: Since the rules regarding the shooting phase disallow you from even selecting a unit that Advanced or Fell Back, you never get to section 2., which tasks you with selecting a weapon. Since you can never select that you want to shoot an Assault weapon or a Pistol, you can't fire it. He further mentioned that the rules-as-written do not mention that you can select these units in the shooting phase, only that it would allow you to fire this weapon if you were to select them.
Intuitively, this seems wrong. The intent of the rules clearly seem to be that pistols can be used in close combat, and assault weapons can be used while charging. However, upon looking at the rules-as-written, there seems to be at least some logic to his statements. Is this a simple oversight? Or is there something I am missing entirely?
Emphasis mine on all quotes