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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 158080 Find in a Library
Title: Taking a Bite Out of Violent Crime
Journal: University of Dayton Law Review  Volume:20  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1995)  Pages:573-617
Author(s): M G Lenett
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 45
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the need for a comprehensive national solution to "assault weapons" accessibility, the legislative history of an assault weapons ban, how the assault weapons ban works, and future prospects for the assault weapons ban.
Abstract: A discussion of the need for a comprehensive national solution to assault weapons accessibility advises that whether viewed from the criminological, sociological, or epidemiological perspective, assault weapons exacerbate violent crime, hinder law enforcement, burden the public health care system, and disparately harm minorities and the young. A national solution is required, because even strong State laws would be thwarted by weak or nonexistent laws in other States. A review of the legislative history of the assault weapons ban focuses on early failed attempts, a surprise victory in the Senate of the 103rd U.S. Congress, a narrow victory in the House of Representatives, and compromises that led to the final bill. A discussion of how the assault weapons ban works encompasses the list of banned weapons, the ban on copies, the objective criteria definition, large-capacity ammunition magazines, and what the law does not do. A discussion of future prospects for the assault weapons ban notes that the new Republican-dominated Congress has vowed to either repeal or weaken the ban, actions that, if successful, would be vetoed by President Clinton. The author concludes that the assault weapons ban will cause some inconvenience to some people, but the inconvenience to law-abiding citizens who want to use assault weapons is outweighed by the many dire effects of these weapons on violent crime, drug-related crime, law- enforcement efforts, the health care system, and on children and minorities. 102 footnotes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Assault weapons; Federal legislation; Gun Control; Gun control legislation
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