BUFFALO- In a Tuesday speech directed at the families of victims of last weekend’s shooting at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, NY, Joe Biden renewed his call for an assault weapons ban.
“We can keep assault weapons off our streets,” Biden remarked during the speech. “We’ve done it before. I did it when we passed the crime bill last time. And violence went down, shootings went down.”
The crime bill that the president was likely referring to was the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, commonly known as the Crime Bill.
This controversial piece of Clinton-era legislation contained the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act (commonly referred to as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban).
The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, found in Title XI of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, changed the wording of the federal criminal code to include the words: “It shall be unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic weapon.”
The ban became federal law along with the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act in September 1994, thanks in no small part to the efforts of then-Senator Joe Biden, whom ABC News described as instrumental in shepherding the bill through Congress.
The assault weapons ban expired in September 2004.
Did It Reduce Crime?
Despite the president’s claim that the weapons ban resulted in a decrease in violence and shootings, a federally funded study released by the National Institute of Justice in July of 2004 — just before the expiration of the ban — claimed that the assault weapons ban did little to contribute to the nation’s then-steady decline in gun violence.
The NIJ report, entitled Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003, claimed that the ban’s success in reducing crimes committed with automatic weapons was likely outweighed by the “steady or rising use” of non-banned semiautomatics with large-capacity magazines.
Therefore, we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence,” wrote the report’s author, University of Pennsylvania Professor Christopher S. Koper. “And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence, based on indicators like the percentage of gun crimes resulting in death or the share of gunfire incidents resulting in injury, as we might have expected had the ban reduced crimes with both AWs and LCMs.”
The National Institute for Justice describes itself on its website as “the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.”
Koper also wrote in the report that if Congress had voted to continue the ban, the effect would have been minimal.
Should it be renewed, the ban might reduce gunshot victimizations,” Koper wrote. “This effect is likely to be small at best and possibly too small for reliable measurement. A 5% reduction in gunshot victimizations is perhaps a reasonable upper bound estimate of the ban’s potential impact (based on the only available estimate of gunshot victimizations resulting from attacks in which more than 10 shots were fired), but the actual impact is likely to be smaller and may not be fully realized for many years into the future, particularly if pre-ban LCMs continue to be imported into the U.S. from abroad.”
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel was quoted in a 2008 Harvard Business Review article as saying “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
We think this saying is fully embraced by freedom-hating tyrants such as Biden and New York Governor Kathy Hochul. They are using the massacre in Buffalo as a prime opportunity to renew efforts to strip freedom-loving, law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights.
Not only is this push unconstitutional, but their own federally funded reports show that bans don’t work! They didn’t work in the decade that the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was a federal law, and it will not work now.
Freedom-loving gun owners should take action. It’s time to get involved at the state and local level. Our lawmakers need to hear from gun owners telling them to resist any attempt at a resurrection of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
Leftists like Biden and Hochul count on you to be silent in response to Buffalo. Do not go along with their narrative. Speak up and speak loudly!