Five Years After Columbine
Shooting, Assault Weapons Continue to Threaten Public Safety, Illustrating
Need to Strengthen and Renew Federal Assault Weapons Ban
years after Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher
with an arsenal that included a Hi-Point Carbine assault rifle and a TEC-
DC9 assault pistol, assault weapons continue to threaten America's police
and public�in spite of a 1994 federal law intended to ban these military-style
weapons�the Violence Policy Center (VPC) warned today. Without action
by Congress and President Bush, the law will expire on September 13, 2004.
Crime gun traces of
the Hi-Point Carbine�which did not exist when the 1994 law was passed�jumped
from zero in 1995 to 505 in 2000. Introduced in 1996, this inexpensive
($200-$300) assault rifle moves faster than any other rifle or shotgun
from first retail sale by a federal firearms licensee to recovery at a
crime scene, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(ATF) data. At the same time, the gun industry has made slight, cosmetic
design changes to outlawed weapons to evade the 1994 ban. For example,
although the TEC-DC9 was banned by name in 1994, it was quickly replaced
by a "post-ban" model, the AB-10 ("AB" stands for after ban). Trace numbers
for the AB-10 jumped from eight in 1995 to 746 in 2000. Gunmakers are
today manufacturing and selling "post-ban" versions of AR-15s, AK-47s,
UZIs, MAC-10s, and other assault weapons.
VPC Legislative Director
Kristen Rand states, "The Columbine shooting is a case study for why renewal
of the current assault weapons ban is not enough. To truly ban assault
weapons, the law must not only be renewed, but strengthened."
Intratec AB-10s and Hi-Point Carbines Traced to Crime Scenes, 1995 to
in Congress, the "Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act
of 2003," would enact a permanent assault weapons ban and significantly
strengthen current law to address the limitations that have allowed the
gun industry to circumvent the ban.
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.
Monday, April 19, 2004
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x109