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The Left’s Argument For An Assault-Weapons Ban Is Destroyed By Actual Homicide Data

As the Left clamors for a so-called “assault-weapons ban,” evidence shows that it would have almost NO IMPACT on homicide rates.


Every time there is a mass murderer who uses a semi-automatic rifle to perpetrate his crime, gun-control advocates call for a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”

However, even if “assault weapons” were banned tomorrow, there would be “little if any effect on rates of violent crime and gun violence,” according to data compiled by the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEE).

By using the leftist publication Mother Jones’s database of mass shootings—defined as shootings involving three or more fatalities—the data shows that between 2007 and 2017, there were 495 people murdered in such events, FEE explains.

Over the same timeframe, FBI annual crime reports show that there were 150,352 homicides in total, of which 103,901 involved firearms. This means that mass shootings involving AWs constitute 0.17 percent and 0.24 percent of all homicides and firearm homicides, respectively.

Gun Homicide Rates from 2007-2017, as compiled by the Foundation for Economic Freedom

Although gun control advocates often point to the assault weapons ban from 1994 to 2004, a study conducted for the Department of Justice concluded that the effectiveness of the assault weapons ban was highly questionable.

In their conclusion, regarding renewal of the ban of “assault weapons,” the study’s authors stated:

Should it be renewed, the ban might reduce gunshot victimizations. This effect is likely to be small at best and possibly too small for reliable measurement. [Emphasis added.]

While banning “assault weapons” may be a good political sound byte for gun control advocates, especially after mass murders, the reality is, banning certain types of weapons only infringes upon law-abiding citizens’ rights, while doing very little to reduce the actual homicide rate.

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