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Follow the Science Chipman! “Assault Weapons” Bans Don’t Work.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Follow the Science Chipman! “Assault Weapons” Bans Don’t Work.

During director of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives nominee David Chipman’s May 26 Senate confirmation hearing, the paid anti-gun activist worked to obscure the woeful record of the 1994 Clinton “assault weapons” ban. That ban prohibited the sale of certain types of commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms, and magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds. Prompted by a question from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chipman described the data regarding the ban’s efficacy as “mixed.” In truth, the Clinton semi-auto ban was a failure that even the federal government has acknowledged as ineffective. 

The key to understanding why bans on commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms like the AR-15 rifle do not and cannot reduce violent crime is acknowledging the fact that these firearms are rarely used in violent crime.

Consider, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting data, rifles were used in connection with 364 homicides in 2019. More than four times that number of murders involved a knife or other cutting instrument (1,476 such murders), and there were more murders using blunt objects (397) or personal weapons like hands, fists, or feet (600) than involved a rifle of any type.

Faced with the reality that so-called “assault weapons,” are rarely used to commit violent crime, a 1997 Department of Justice-funded study of the 1994 Clinton ban determined that “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.”

The study also noted,

We were unable to detect any reduction to date in two types of gun murders that are thought to be closely associated with assault weapons, those with multiple victims in a single incident and those producing multiple bullet wounds per victim.

A 2004 follow-up Department of Justice-funded study came to a similar conclusion. The study determined that “AWs [assault weapons] and LCMs [large capacity magazines] were used in only a minority of gun crimes prior to the 1994 federal ban,” “relatively few attacks involve more than 10 shots fired,” and “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

Presented with the overwhelming evidence that the ban was ineffective, Congress did not renew it. 

In 2013, the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice surveyed the available research on a host of gun control measures for the Obama administration. Regarding a semiautomatic ban, the report determined “Assault weapons are not a major contributor to gun crime,” and that therefore, “a complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.” 

In 2018, the RAND Corporation released a comprehensive study that surveyed the available research on several gun control policies. As part of the study, RAND researchers sought to determine “How Bans on the Sale of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines Affect Gun Use Outcomes.” The study stated, “We found no qualifying studies showing that bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines decreased any of the eight outcomes we investigated.” The “gun use outcomes” studied included “violent crime.”

The evidence is clear, banning commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and their accessories doesn’t work. Chipman and the broader gun control movement’s continued advocacy for a failed policy measure reveals that their political project isn’t motivated by a desire for “gun safety,” reducing violence, or “public health,” but rather a religious passion for civilian disarmament.

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Louisiana: Senate Passes Constitutional Carry - Take Action Now!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Louisiana: Senate Passes Constitutional Carry - Take Action Now!

Today, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1, NRA backed constitutional carry legislation, on a 28-10 vote. The bill will next be considered in the House. Please contact your state representative and ask them to SUPPORT Senate Bill 1.

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Monday, February 26, 2024

Louisiana: Constitutional Carry Advances to the House Floor – Final Vote Imminent

Today, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee passed the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation, Senate Bill 1, by a 10-3 vote. The bill now heads to the House floor for a final vote this week. SB 1 ...

Louisiana: House Committee to Hear Constitutional Carry Monday - Take Action Now!

Friday, February 23, 2024

Louisiana: House Committee to Hear Constitutional Carry Monday - Take Action Now!

Monday, February 26, at 10:00 AM, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee will hear Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation. SB 1 was passed by the Senate earlier this week with overwhelming support. Please contact committee members ...

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

On Monday, House File 3570 was referred to the House Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy and would ban so called “assault weapons” by expanding upon an existing statute used to define these firearms. The bill ...

South Carolina: Permitless Carry Passes the Senate, Waiting on Concurrence by the House

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

South Carolina: Permitless Carry Passes the Senate, Waiting on Concurrence by the House

Last week, South Carolina moved one step closer to becoming the 28th state to enact Permitless/Constitutional Carry! This effort has been years in the making, clearing a major hurdle by passing the Senate, which has been ...

Ontario Latest Province to Snub Trudeau’s Gun Grab – “Ontario Should Not Be Spending Taxpayers’ Money Towards the Program”

News  

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Ontario Latest Province to Snub Trudeau’s Gun Grab – “Ontario Should Not Be Spending Taxpayers’ Money Towards the Program”

The wheels are coming off the mandatory “assault weapon” gun ban and confiscation scheme that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched four years ago.

Virginia: Mandatory Waiting Period and Other Anti-Gun Bills Headed to the Governor's Desk

Friday, February 23, 2024

Virginia: Mandatory Waiting Period and Other Anti-Gun Bills Headed to the Governor's Desk

Contact Governor Youngkin today and urge his veto!  Anti-gun extremists in the Virginia General Assembly have made diminishing your Second Amendment Rights a top priority this legislative session. This week a slew of gun control ...

Hawaii Justices “Declare War” on U.S. Supreme Court, to the Cheers of Anti-Gun Media

News  

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Hawaii Justices “Declare War” on U.S. Supreme Court, to the Cheers of Anti-Gun Media

In Hawaii, a man who was peacefully carrying a pistol for his own self-protection while on a nature hike was arrested and subject to felony prosecution under state laws that generally confine the possession of ...

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Monday, February 26, 2024

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Gun Control groups are launching an all-out assault on the Second Amendment in Maine. Their most recent tactic?

New Hampshire: House Advances Critical Gun Owner Privacy Legislation

Friday, February 23, 2024

New Hampshire: House Advances Critical Gun Owner Privacy Legislation

On Thursday, February 22nd, the New Hampshire House of Representatives held floor votes on gun related bills.

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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.