On One-Year Anniversary
of DC-Area Sniper Shootings, Violence Policy Center Strongly Supports
Lautenberg and McCarthy Bills (S. 1431, H.R. 2038) to Renew and Strengthen
the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
Ban Will End on
September 13, 2004 Without Congressional and White House Action
Violence Policy Center (VPC) today announced its strong support for the
"Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003," legislation
introduced by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Senator Frank
Lautenberg (D-NJ). The legislation would renew the 1994 federal assault
weapons ban. More importantly, the bill would significantly strengthen
current law to address limitations in the ban that have allowed the gun
industry to circumvent it. The House version of the bill (H.R. 2038)
currently has more than 100 co-sponsors. The assault weapons ban will
end on September 13, 2004, unless Congress and the President enact new
Since the 1994 law's
inception, the gun industry has successfully circumvented it, making slight,
cosmetic modifications to banned weapons to allow their continued sale.
Today, "post-ban" versions of AK-47s, MAC-10s, UZIs, and AR-15s flood
the civilian market. The most notorious example is the Bushmaster XM15
assault rifle�a post-ban AR-15 clone�used by the Washington, DC-area snipers
to kill 10 and wound three in October 2002. Bushmaster even advertises
the XM15 as a "Post-Ban Carbine." The Lautenberg and McCarthy bills are
based on a 1999 California law that has successfully stopped this industry
VPC Legislative Director
Kristen Rand states, "FBI data shows that one out of five law enforcement
officers slain in the line of duty is killed with an assault weapon. To
successfully protect our police and the public, the federal assault weapons
ban must not only be renewed, but strengthened, to end this deadly gun
industry practice and truly ban all assault weapons."
As part of its campaign
to renew and strengthen the assault weapons ban, the VPC has launched
a new activist web site, www.banassaultweapons.org,
challenging President Bush to support an effective assault weapons law.
Also, in an ad placed in Roll Call yesterday, 86 national and state organizations
announced their support of the Lautenberg and McCarthy bills.
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, October 1, 2003
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x102