Majority Leader DeLay's
Promise to Let Assault Weapons Ban Expire Will Keep Cop-Killer Guns on
VPC Study, "Officer
Down"�Assault Weapons and the War on Law Enforcement, Reveals That
One in Five Law Enforcement Officers Slain in the Line of Duty Is Killed
with an Assault Weapon
More Than 20 Percent
of Assault Weapon Police Deaths Occurred in Texas
Majority Leader Tom DeLay's promise that he will allow the federal assault
weapons ban to expire in September 2004 will keep America's police at
the highest possible risk, the Violence Policy Center (VPC) warned today.
The VPC study "Officer Down"�Assault
Weapons and the War on Law Enforcement, which was released last
week, reveals that at least 41 of the 211 law enforcement officers
slain in the line of duty between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2001,
were killed with assault weapons. More than 20 percent of the law
enforcement officers slain by assault weapons during the study period
were from DeLay's home state of Texas. DeLay's announcement coincides
with National Police Week.
VPC Legislative Director
and study author Kristen Rand states, "Majority Leader DeLay has placed
his loyalty to the National Rifle Association over his responsibility
to protect public safety. With the gun industry openly evading the law,
now is the time to strengthen the federal assault weapons ban, not celebrate
its scheduled end."
DeLay's position puts
him at political odds with both President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft
who have each expressed support for renewal of the assault weapons ban.
The law, passed in
1994, bans certain models of semiautomatic assault weapons, as well as
high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Immediately
after the law was enacted, the gun industry moved quickly to make slight,
cosmetic design changes in their "post-ban" guns to evade the law. Today,
gunmakers openly boast of their ability to circumvent the assault weapons
explains how the firearms industry has evaded the current ban, and how
assault weapons continue to pose a stark threat to America's law enforcement
personnel. The report lists the known incidents of police officers killed
by assault weapons from 1998 through 2001, including year, state, manufacturer,
model of assault weapon, and caliber. It also offers expanded narratives
for 15 of the law enforcement shootings that occurred during this period.
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x105