Violence Policy Center
Issues Statement on Expiration of Federal Assault Weapons Ban
Reacting to the expiration
of the federal assault weapons ban, the Violence Policy Center released
the following statement today from Legislative Director Kristen Rand:
Soon after its passage
in 1994, the gun industry made a mockery of the federal assault weapons
ban, manufacturing "post-ban" assault weapons with only slight,
cosmetic differences from their banned counterparts. The VPC estimates
that more than one million assault weapons have been manufactured since
the ban's passage in 1994.
The sad truth is that
mere renewal would have done little to stop this flood of assault weapons.
Conversely, the end of the ban only makes official what was already known:
assault weapons are readily available in America. The only difference
is that the arbitrary distinction between pre- and post-ban assault weapons
is now gone.
While the assault
weapons ban has ended, the debate will continue--as will the killings.
A 2003 Violence Policy Center analysis of FBI data reveals that one
out of five law enforcement officers (41 of 211) slain in the line of
duty from 1998 through 2001 were killed with an assault weapon. So
far this year, six law enforcement officers in Indiana and Alabama alone
have been killed with SKS assault rifles--weapons not covered under the
and public deserve an effective assault weapons ban that truly bans all
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.