skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 165498 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994: Final Report
Author(s): Jeffrey A. Roth; Christopher S. Koper
Corporate Author: The Urban Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 128
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
The Urban Institute
Washington, DC 20037
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 95-IJ-CX-0111
Sale Source: The Urban Institute
2100 M Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is the first report on the impact of the Federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994, which was conducted within 30 months following the date the law went into effect.
Abstract: Title XI of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 took effect on September 13, 1994. Subtitle A banned the manufacture, transfer, and possession of designated semiautomatic assault weapons. It also banned "large-capacity" magazines, which were defined as ammunition-feeding devices designed to hold more than 10 rounds. Finally, it required a study of the effects of these bans. This report contains the findings from the first study of the legislation's impact. The analysis considered potential ban effects on gun markets, on assault weapon use in crime, and on the lethal consequences of assault weapon use. Even though the expected quick profits for the sale of the targeted weapons failed to materialize prior to the act's taking effect, there was no strong evidence to date that licensed dealers have increased "off the books" sales of assault weapons in secondary markets and concealed them with false stolen gun reports. Stolen gun reports for assault weapons did increase slightly after the ban took effect, but by less than reported thefts of unbanned large-capacity semiautomatic handguns, which began increasing well before the ban. The lack of an increase in stolen gun reports suggests that so far, the large stock of grandfathered assault weapons has remained largely in dealers' and collectors' inventories instead of leaking into the secondary markets through which criminals tend to obtain guns. Between 1994 and 1995, the criminal use of assault weapons, as measured by law enforcement agency requests for BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) traces of guns associated with crimes, decreased by 20 percent, compared to an 11-percent decrease for all guns. There were similar trends in data on all guns recovered in crime in two cities. Similar decreases were found in trace requests concerning guns associated with violent and drug crimes. 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 best estimate is that the ban contributed to a 6.7-percent decrease in total gun murders between 1994 and 1995, beyond what would have been expected in view of ongoing crime, demographic, and economic trends. Limitations of the study are discussed, along with recommendations for future research to update and refine results at this early post-ban stage. 30 tables, 34 figures, appended data on assault weapons and mass murder, and 58 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Federal Code; Gun Control; Gun control legislation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.