We’ve known for almost a decade about the Clinton era’s Department of Justice and their report that the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was ineffective and had no noticeable impact on crime. However, that study has largely been ignored due to its age. Thankfully, Barack Obama’s very own Department of Justice authored a memo in January (which has subsequently leaked, and been published by the NRA) in which Greg Ridgeway (the Deputy Director for the National Institute of Justice) went over the various options for increased gun control and voiced an opinion on whether any of the options being discussed would actually reduce crime. And — surprise surprise — the NIJ found that nothing being proposed by the Democrats would do anything to actually reduce crime in the United States. Let me tease out the more juicy bits for you . . .
How about an “assault weapons” ban . . . would that reduce crime? According to the memo:
Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to US gun homicide and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapon ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence.
There it is in black and white. A clear message from Barack Obama’s own DoJ that the “assault weapons” ban he’s pushing for would have no real world effect.
How about “smart guns?” You know, those guns that supposedly will only fire for the registered owner? Under the heading of “Smart Guns”:
Unlikely to affect gun crime
And yet, it’s still being touted as something that “must be done” to reduce crime.
What about magazine capacity restrictions? Surely that would have the immediate impact on crime that the Democrats are looking for.
In order to have an impact, large capacity magazine regulation needs to sharply curtail their availability to include restrictions on importation, manufacture, sale, and possession. An exemption for previously owned magazines would nearly eliminate any impact. The program would need to be coupled with an extensive buyback of existing large capacity magazines. With an exemption the impact of the restrictions would only be felt when the magazines degrade or when they no longer are compatible with guns in circulation. This would take decades to realize.
In short, due to that pesky Constitutional restriction on the government against illegal search and seizure and ex post facto laws, even a magazine capacity restriction would be pointless.
Again, this isn’t anything new. We’ve been telling you this for the last three years here at TTAG. And now we know that those in charge are getting the exact same advice form their advisers. They just choose to ignore it and push for civilian disarmament anyway.
There are dozens of other priorities they could be working on (like lobs, an actual budget, or maybe the economy) but instead they’re focusing their efforts on feel-good, base-pleasing bills that would do nothing to improve the situation in America and would only infringe on the civil rights of millions of law abiding Americans.