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NCJ Number: 158081 Find in a Library
Title: Great Assault Weapons Hoax
Journal: University of Dayton Law Review  Volume:20  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1995)  Pages:619-639
Author(s): J P Tartaro
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 21
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues that the assault-weapons ban of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 is unnecessarily broad in its prohibitions and targets guns that are rarely used in crimes.
Abstract: Described by its supporters as a reasonable ban on only 19 semi-automatic "assault weapons," the law bans almost 200 commonly owned firearms, the magazines for most popular modern police and self-defense pistols, and even replicas of the black- powder era 1860 Henry Repeating Rifle. Although the new law will change the nature, character, and technology of firearms and ammunition used for civilian self-protection, competition, and sport, as well as put a number of American craftsmen out of work and manufacturers and importers out of business, it will not remove a single firearm from the hands of any criminal. An analysis of data from 21 city and county crime laboratories throughout California found that for 1989 only 45 of the 4,844 firearms that the laboratories tracked fell under the designation "assault weapon" as listed in the Roberti-Roos Act of 1989. Of the 963 firearms that were actually used in homicides and assaults, only 36 were assault weapons. Studies in other States and cities reveal similar findings, i.e., that only a small number of crimes involved the use of weapons classified as "assault weapons." Supporters of the assault weapons ban use emotion to convince the public that there are many rapid-fire weapons easily accessible to dangerous persons who use them frequently to kill and wound large numbers of people. Factual evidence does not support this claim. Those who oppose this ban should promote greater exposure for people who use firearms of all kinds for self-defense. Everyone understands and can empathize with the person who used a firearm, especially a semi- automatic military gun, to defend against looters during riots, hurricanes, and other disasters, or to defend one's home against invasion by criminals. 71 footnotes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Assault weapons; Federal legislation; Gun Control; Gun control legislation
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