Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Saving the Champagne: Anti-Gunners Not Celebrating AWB Anniversary

Friday, September 19, 2014

Last weekend marked the 10-year anniversary of the federal “assault weapon” and “large” magazine bans’ expiration. True to form, gun control supporters reacted by mischaracterizing what the bans did and by attempting to conceal their plans for future restrictions. For those keeping track, the bans were imposed on September 13, 1994, and expired 10 years later.

Trying to save face, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the bans, issued a press release claiming that they had “worked.” However, her claim is based upon mischaracterizations of BATFE firearm tracing data and the congressionally-mandated study of the bans. She also lied about her legislative intentions, claiming she’s interested only in “reinstating” the bans when her current legislation would instead expand the bans to include all semi-automatic shotguns and detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles and tighten restrictions on magazines. (See NRA-ILA S. 150 Fact Sheet.) Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) has introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, the anti-gun Center for American Progress observed the anniversary by proposing that gun control supporters stop trying to ban the guns outright, and instead push for a law requiring a permit to possess them, mandatory reporting of all interstate firearm sales, and several other restrictions. Just as “universal check” legislation is designed to lay the groundwork for firearm registration, the Center’s permit scheme would provide the federal government with a list of everyone who owns an “assault weapon,” which under Feinstein’s new bill would include tens of millions of Americans.

Surprisingly, the New York Times said that Feinstein’s bans had little or no effect on crime, but the newspaper didn’t fully understand why. Here, for the benefit of the Times and others in the same boat, are five of the reasons:

1. Unless gun control supporters are saying that increasing “assault weapon” ownership reduces crime, they can’t say that Feinstein’s gun ban reduced crime. That’s because Americans bought more “assault weapons” during the 10 years the gun ban was in effect, than during the previous 10 years. For example, Americans bought more than 730,000 AR-15s during the 10 years 1995-2004, almost double the figure for the preceding 10 years. 

And here’s why. Feinstein’s “ban” didn’t ban any guns, it merely banned installing various external attachments on certain guns. This is why the rabidly anti-gun Violence Policy Center called the ban “eviscerated” and a “charade” and a “fictional ban” (VPC flyer on file with NRA-ILA), and why it said “You can’t argue with a straight face that the ban has been effective” (R. Montgomery, “Clock ticking on assault gun ban: Flaws put extension in doubt,” Kansas City Star, May 2, 2004, p. A1).

For example, Feinstein’s “ban” defined a semi-automatic, detachable-magazine rifle as an “assault weapon” only if it had two or more external features from a list included in the law. Manufacturers complied with the ban by producing AR-15s with only one of the features, the grip, ironically, the feature that gun control supporters most despise.



2. Carrying the previous point a step further, since the “ban” expired, ownership of “assault weapons” has soared and the nation’s murder rate has decreased from 5.7 in 2003 and 5.5 in 2004, to 4.7 in 2012

3. Unless gun control supporters are saying that increased ownership of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds deters crime, they cannot say that Feinstein’s “large” magazine ban reduced crime either. That’s not only because the vast majority of criminals who fire guns during crimes don’t fire more than a few rounds. It’s also because 50 million magazines that held more than 10 rounds were imported into the United States during the 10 years the “ban” was in effect. (Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., press release, “Schumer Moves to Renew Federal Ban on Assault Weapons,” May 8, 2003.)

4. The claim that Feinstein and other gun control supporters most often to pretend that the bans “worked” is based upon a mischaracterization of BATFE firearms traces. After the bans were imposed, “assault weapons” slightly decreased as a percentage of all firearms traced by BATFE. However, BATFE traces guns for various reasons, not only if guns have been used to commit crimes, and once the bans were imposed, law enforcement agencies were less likely to request traces upon the guns in question.

Furthermore, guns used to commit violent crimes have historically been a small percentage of guns that BATFE traces. In its current tracing reports, BATFE states “Law enforcement agencies may request traces for any reason. . . . Not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime. Firearms selected for tracing are not chosen for purposes of determining which, types, makes or models of firearms are used for illicit purposes. The firearms selected do not constitute a random sample and should not be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals, or any subset of that universe. Firearms are normally traced to the first retail seller, and sources reported for firearms traced do not necessarily represent the sources or methods by which firearms in general are acquired for use in crime.”

5. As the Times pointed out, criminals are more likely to use handguns than rifles or even shotguns of any sort. While gun control supporters try to malign semi-automatic rifles in the context of multiple-victim shootings, the one that had the most victims, at Virginia Tech in 2007, was committed entirely with handguns, and one of the criminals’ handguns was equipped with only 10-round magazines.

Another fact worth noting is that Feinstein’s “assault weapon” and “large” magazine “bans” were separate laws. Her ban on any magazine that held more than 10 rounds applied to magazines for any guns. Most such magazines are for handguns. Detachable magazines are required for the proper functioning of semi-automatic handguns, which are the most common handguns in use today. Moreover, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that handguns cannot be banned and that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear all firearms that are in common use for lawful purposes.

Clearly, gun control supporters had no reason to break out the champagne for the anniversary of the bans, and let’s make sure they feel like keeping it corked as the results of the upcoming elections start rolling in the night of November 4.

TRENDING NOW
New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

News  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law

Measure Effective Immediately. Today was a great victory for gun owners in New Hampshire when Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law, allowing law-abiding New Hampshirites to carry their firearms in the manner that ...

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

News  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ignores Heller: No Protection for Guns It Deems “Dangerous”

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions in Heller and McDonald, many of the lower U.S. courts have been making up their own rules when it comes to the Second Amendment. Tuesday’s outrageous opinion by ...

Kentucky: Senate Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation Amended

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kentucky: Senate Constitutional/Permitless Carry Legislation Amended

Today, Senator Robin Webb (D-18) offered a strike and insert amendment to constitutional/permitless carry legislation, Senate Bill 7.

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Legislation Passes Committee

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hawaii: Anti-Gun Legislation Passes Committee

SB 898, sponsored by state Senator Ronald Kouchi (D-8), would permanently strip an individual of their Second Amendment rights, not based on a criminal conviction or mental adjudication, but based on a quasi-criminal proceeding.  The ...

North Dakota: Important Self-Defense Bills Pass House

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

North Dakota: Important Self-Defense Bills Pass House

Today, February 21, two important pro-gun bills passed the House of Representatives.  House Bill 1169, the constitutional/permitless carry bill, passed the House with a 83-9 vote and House Bill 1310, the school carry bill, passed ...

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Into Law!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Into Law!

Today, in a private signing ceremony, Governor Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law.  Similar legislation had been vetoed by former Governor Maggie Hassan for two years in a row, but thanks to your active involvement, ...

West Virginia: Pro-Carry Legislation Introduced

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

West Virginia: Pro-Carry Legislation Introduced

Multiple pro-gun bills were introduced this week in the West Virginia Legislature that seek to provide protections to West Virginians who choose to carry a firearm for self-defense. 

South Dakota: Bill Attempting to Silence NRA Passed by House Committee

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

South Dakota: Bill Attempting to Silence NRA Passed by House Committee

Today, the House Judiciary Committee heard and passed House Bill 1200 by a 9-3 vote. 

Washington: Anti-Gun Legislation Could be Heard on the Floor Next Week

Friday, February 24, 2017

Washington: Anti-Gun Legislation Could be Heard on the Floor Next Week

As early as next week, the Washington House of Representatives could hear and vote on House Bill 1122 and House Bill 1483.

Iowa: Pro-Gun Bill Passes Subcommittee

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Iowa: Pro-Gun Bill Passes Subcommittee

Today, House Study Bill 133, the omnibus bill which would make many pro-gun reforms for Iowa gun owners, passed its subcommittee hearing.  HSB 133 will now go to the full House Judiciary Committee for further consideration.  ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.