Clinton assault weapons ban anniversiary
(Dennis Cook/AP)
Previous Post
Next Post

You probably didn’t realize that today is a holiday, but September 13 is marked in big, bold red letters on the calendars of the media and nostalgic members of the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex. As Politico reminisces with great fondness . . .

After three prior presidents lobbied Congress for passage of an assault weapons ban, President Bill Clinton on this day in 1994 signed the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act into law over the vociferous opposition of the National Rifle Association. Earlier on this day, the Senate voted 52 to 48 in favor of its passage, clearing the way for Clinton’s signature.

Those were the days. You can almost hear the tears of Andrew Glass lightly splashing on his keyboard as he remembers a better, bygone era.

After Congress had initially acted, the federal courts turned back multiple challenges to the law raised by opponents on various grounds. The ban, however, was never directly challenged under the Constitution’s Second Amendment. Since its expiration, speculation has arisen on how a new legislative ban might fare in light of firearms cases decided by the Supreme Court in subsequent years, particularly its 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Since the ban expired, numerous legislative efforts to renew or replace it have failed.

That’s not all that failed. Somehow Glass managed to bang out his encomium to The Priapic One’s black rifle ban without mentioning that, by any measure, the Clinton AWB was an utter failure.

Don’t take our word for it. Listen to a bunch of rabid shills who are in the pocket of the evil gun lobby. People like the New York Times‘ Lois Beckett.

But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.

It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.

Or how about the mayor of one of the most violent cities in the country.

“We spent a whole bunch of time and a whole bunch of political capital yelling and screaming about assault weapons,” Mayor Mitchell J, Landrieu of New Orleans said. He called it a “zero sum political fight about a symbolic weapons.”

Huh. It’s almost as if banning so-called assault weapons was never really about stopping crime or saving lives at all. Who could have seen that coming?

Previous Post
Next Post


    • You may not like or agree with them, but several US states have given legal definition to the term “assault weapon”.

      • Agreeing or celebrating the “legal” term “assault weapon” or gun control is akin to agreeing with slavery, genocide, or any other tool of tyranny. So what if the tyrants have “legally” defined any word used as propaganda against the US Constitution? They only do so to leverage the mob to rip freedom away from the individual. Knowing which state legislatures have deliberately defined “assault weapons” to legislate against them, and their judges who uphold such laws, only serves to reveal who stands as an enemy against freedom.

      • Really? I did not know that, sounds pretty asinine. Can you give us a hint how it was defined? Maybe “shoots assault bullets”?

      • It must be like Ebonics then? Just because it gives understanding It doesn’t change the fact of the grammatical error. If I were to say that Monica Lewinsky got a wad of bills in her pocket for doing a good job. You would know what I meant but it doesn’t change that it’s called ejaculate and not wad

      • “Assault weapon” is an invented term. In the lexicon, there is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” 1 The closest relative is the “assault rifle,” which is a machine gun or “select fire” rifle that shoots rifle cartridges. 2 In most cases, “assault weapons” are functionally identical though less powerful than hunting rifles, but they are cosmetically similar to military guns.
        Myth: Assault weapons are a serious problem in the U.S.
        Fact: In 1994, before the Federal “assault weapons ban,” you were eleven (11) times more likely to be beaten to death than to be killed by an “assault weapon.” 3
        Fact: In the first 7 years since the ban was lifted, murders declined 43%, violent crime 43%, rapes 27% and robberies 49%. 4
        Fact: Nationally, “assault weapons” were used in 1.4% of crimes involving firearms and 0.25% of all violent crime before the enactment of any national or state “assault weapons” ban. In many major urban areas (San Antonio, Mobile, Nashville, etc.) and some entire states (Maryland, New Jersey, etc.) the rate is less than 0.1%. 5
        Fact: Even weapons misclassified as “assault weapons” (common in the former Federal and California “assault weapons” confiscations) are used in less than 1% of all homicides. 6
        Fact: Police reports show that “assault weapons” are a non-problem:
        For California:
        • Los Angeles: In 1998, of 538 documented gun incidents, only one (0.2%) involved an “assault weapon.”
        • San Francisco: In 1998, only 2.2% of confiscated weapons were “assault weapons.”
        • San Diego: Between 1988 and 1990, only 0.3% of confiscated weapons were “assault weapons.”
        • “I surveyed the firearms used in violent crimes…assault-type firearms were the least of our worries.” 7
        For the rest of the nation:
        • Between 1980 and 1994, only 2% of confiscated guns were “assault weapons.” 8
        • Fewer than 2% of criminals that commit violent crimes used “assault weapons.” 9
        Fact: Only 1.4% of recovered crime weapons are models covered under the 1994 “assault weapons” ban. 10
        Fact: In Virginia, no surveyed inmates had carried an “assault weapon” during the commission of their last crime, despite 20% admitting that they had previously owned such weapons. 11
        Fact: Most “assault weapons” have no more firepower or killing capacity than the average hunting rifle and “play a small role in overall violent crime.” 12
        Fact: Even the government agrees. “… the weapons banned by this legislation [1994 Federal Assault Weapons ban – since repealed] were used only rarely in gun crimes.” 13
        Myth: Assault weapons are used in mass public shootings
        Fact: A decade long study, covering 84 mass public shootings, found that pistols were used 60% of the time. Rifles were used 27%. 14 But that is all types of rifles, and so-called “assault weapons” (such as the AR-15 or civilian versions of the AK-47) are a subset of these.
        Myth: Every 48 hours, an assault rifle is traced to crime in Maryland
        Fact: This claim by Cease Fire Maryland includes firearms never used in crimes. Some examples of firearms traced include:
        • 47 firearms found at a private residence of a person who passed-away from natural causes, and which were never used in any crime.
        • Firearms temporarily taken from owners under court Emergency Evaluation Petitions (the firearms were not used in crimes, but the judge wanted them confiscated until other issues are resolved).
        Fact: This claim lacks perspective. During the same time period, there were 163,101 violent crimes reported in Maryland. Even if the Cease Fire Maryland data was correct, they have connected assault rifles to just 0.4% of violent crimes during the same period.
        Myth: One out of five police officers killed are killed with assault weapons 15
        Fact: This “study” included firearms not on the former Federal “assault weapons”list. By including various legal firearms 16 the report inflated the statistics nearly 100%.
        Fact: Only 1% of police officers murdered were killed using “assault weapons.” They were twice as likely to be killed with their own handgun. 17
        Fact: One 2006 federal government study found zero “assault weapons” were used to kill police officers. 18
        Fact: Police don’t think it is a major problem, with 91% saying an assault weapons ban would have either no effect or a negative effect on violent crime. 19. Myth: Assault weapons are favored by criminals
        Fact: Only 6% of criminals use anything that is classified (even incorrectly) as an “assault weapon,” 20 and fewer than 2.5% of criminal claimed to use these firearms when committing crimes. 21
        Fact: Criminals are over five times more likely to carry single shot handguns as they are to carry “assault weapons.” 22
        Fact: “Assault rifles have never been an issue in law enforcement. I have been on this job for 25 years and I haven’t seen a drug dealer carry one. They are not used in crimes, they are not used against police officers.” 23
        Fact: “Since police started keeping statistics, we now know that ‘assault weapons’ are/were used in an underwhelming 0.026 of 1% of crimes in New Jersey. This means that my officers are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the local zoo than to confront an assault rifle in the hands of a drug-crazed killer on the streets.” 24
        Thoughts: “Assault weapons” are large and unwieldy. Even misclassified handguns tend to be bigger than practical for concealed carry. Criminals (who, incidentally, disregard concealed carry laws) are unlikely to carry “assault weapons” and instead carry handguns, which are more easily concealed.
        Myth: Assault weapons can be easily converted to machine guns
        Fact: Firearms that can be “readily converted” are already prohibited by law. 25
        Fact: None of the firearms on the list of banned weapons can be readily converted. 26
        Fact: Only 0.15% of over 4,000 weapons confiscated in Los Angeles in one year were converted, and only 0.3% had any evidence of an attempt to convert. 27
        Myth: Assault weapons are used in 16% of homicides
        Fact: This figure was concocted to promote an “assault weapons” bill in New York. Their classification scheme included most firearms sold in the U.S. since 1987 (centerfire rifles, shotguns holding more than six cartridges, and handguns holding more than 10 rounds). By misclassifying most firearms as “assault weapons,” they expanded the scope of a non-problem.
        Myth: The 1994 (former) Federal Assault Weapons Ban was effective
        Fact: Murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal assault weapons ban was in force. 28
        Fact: ” … we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent drop in gun violence.” 29
        Fact: The ban covered only 1.39% of the models of firearms on the market, so the ban’s effectiveness is automatically limited.
        Fact: “The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.” 30
        Fact: “The public safety benefits of the 1994 ban have not yet been demonstrated.” 31
        Fact: “The ban triggered speculative price increases and ramped-up production of the banned firearms … prior to the law’s implementation,” 32 and thus increased the total supply over the following decade.
        Fact: The Brady Campaign claims that “After the 1994 ban, there were 18% fewer ‘assault weapons’ traced to crime in the first eight months of 1995 than were traced in the same period in 1994.” However, they failed to note (and these are mentioned in the NIJ study) that:
        1. “Assault weapons” traces were minimal before the ban (due to their infrequent use in crimes), so an 18% change enters the realm of statistical irrelevancy.
        2. Fewer “assault weapons” were available to criminals because collectors bought-up the available supply before the ban.
        Myth: States need to ban assault weapons
        Fact: State assault weapons bans “did not significantly affect murder rates” in a study covering 1980-2009. 33
        Myth: Assault weapons have only one purpose, to kill large numbers of people
        Fact: Of the millions of these firearms currently in civilian hands, they are routinely used for:
        • Small game hunting (especially hog hunting in thick southern brush)
        • Sports competitions such as “three gun shoots”
        • Self-defense, both at home and during civil disorder situations such as the Rodney King riots in L.A. and Hurricane Katrina
        Myth: Nobody needs an assault weapon
        Fact: Their light weight and durability make them suitable for many types of hunting and are especially favored for wild boar hunting.
        Fact: Their lighter recoil combined with light weight make them the preferred rifle with people of small stature or limited strength.
        Fact: Recall the 1992 Rodney King riots in the anti-gun city of Los Angeles. Every major news network carried footage of Korean store owners sitting on the roofs of their stores, armed with “assault weapons.” 34 Those were the stores that did not get burned to the ground, and those were the people that were not dragged into the street and beaten by rioters. “You can’t get around the image of people shooting at people to protect their stores and it working. This is damaging to the [gun control] movement.” 35
        Fact: There are many reasons people prefer to use these firearms:
        • They are easy to operate
        • They are very reliable in outdoor conditions (backpacking, hunting, etc.)
        • They are accurate
        • They are good for recreational and competitive target shooting
        • They have value in many self-defense situations
        Fact: There are many sports in which these firearms are required:
        • Many hunters use these firearms (especially for wild boar hunting in the south)
        • Three-gun target matches
        • Camp Perry competitions, especially the Service Rifle events
        • DCM/CMP competitions
        • Bodyguard simulations
        Fact: Ours is a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs.

    • Assault weapon is a deliberately vague term used to describe guns based purely on appearance. The term was used by gun control groups when it was pointed out “assault rifles” and “assault guns” have formal descriptive definitions.

      And the ban was a complete failure.

    • no doubt its passage inflicted a high political cost on them…something that continues to register to this day…the only effect that I noted during that time was that cops encountered less of them out on the street than they had previously…probably a case of perception becoming reality…while those in the know continued to acquire them… if in slightly altered form….

  1. Both cops and Baby Bush supported renewing the AWB of ’94. Don’t trust cops or Republicans.

    “National police organizations such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers and the Fraternal Order of Police all support the renewal of the ban. President Bush has said he would sign such a bill if Congress passed it.”

    • I suspect the support by LEO organizations (unions) was and is more a function of the union leaders supporting things that most of the membership does not support.

      Large city police chiefs are political animals who must blow with the local political wind which in large cities is very often to the left. I have come to expect nothing good from them.

      The police officers I know are strong advocates of 2A. Our county sheriff is a strong 2A supporter. Small sample, I know but news stories tend to support my sample.

      National voting record maps showing who voted for Trump as opposed to who voted for Hildabeast are probably a fair indication of national opinions about 2A. Anti in big cities and pro in a majority of the country.

    • I do have to wonder the ban and then subsequent sundown helped drive more gun sales of the so called scary rifles, helping to really kick off the tactical market. As we have seen with the Obama and Hillary panics, the threat of a ban creates crazy demand. So besides not really doing anything to stop actual crimes, they may have inadvertantly made the black rifles super cool.

  2. “Assault weapons” bans are coming to most states through the legislature and governor. And if not, then through referenda.

      • Try Washington and Florida, where attempts are being made now. Oregon tried to do something, but I am unclear as to what was accomplished. I do know the Oregon governor was pushing for one. New York, California , New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, and I believe Connecticut all have forms, as do several counties in Illinois. Although it is mostly a “coastal” issue, you can be assured that efforts will be made to spread the disease. I suspect Nevada is in their sites, what with all of the activity for universal background checks, etc going on there (that failed legally after passing a referendum vote).

        • None of those sounds like Texas, and if I were so unfortunate as to live in a state which did that, I would *IGNORE* it. Why would anyone pay attention?

        • “…and Florida, where attempts are being made now. ”

          Key-word…. Attempts.

          Florida is a ‘purple state’ politically and the blue-bits down here at the dick-end of the state don’t yet outnumber the rest of the red parts of the state. And by outnumber I mean voter turnout.

          It’s worth paying attention to, but it is still just an attempt.

    • …and ultimately presented to SCOTUS…where its chances of being upheld are looking less and less likely…their current position is that heller permits this type of restriction…something that may get clarified in a way they probably won’t like…….

  3. I can agree with the celebration, that must be when the stupid bill expired, too, right!? And it certainly did accomplish something very worthwhile, it handed the House to Republicans a few months later. Even Clinton could not mistake the bitch-slapping he and his party took for that “great success”.

    • the “odd couple” certainly did a lot of damage when it came to gun ownership…something that probably lingered and carried over to the last election…

  4. These same people who go on lamenting the death of the 1994 AWB are likely mourning the death of Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Lenin or any other tyrant in history. Knowingly or not, those reminiscent and awaiting the return of the AWB will stand ready to usher in the death of liberty. The AWB standard bearers are either useful idiots or actively pursing suppression of broader civil rights.

    • their goal has always been obvious…they had to start somewhere…and assault weapons have always been the low-hanging fruit….

  5. If those actually looked at the definition of an assault weapon in non-free states, it is cosmetic and vague. Also, it designed to confuse the sheep mass believing that if it looks a machine gun, it is a machine gun logic. Until, the sheep takes the red pill and realize all the supposed truth are lies. It is the only way to restore the ideals of the founding fathers.

  6. … the Senate voted 52 to 48 in favor of its [Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act] passage, clearing the way for Clinton’s signature.

    Now wait a cotton-pickin’ minute! Politicians keep saying that the U.S. Senate will not pass a bill unless 60% — that’s 60 senators — vote in favor. How did that 1994 Scary Black Rifle ban pass with only 52 senators voting in favor?

    Does this mean politicians change the rules however they deem necessary to achieve whatever goal they desire — and blame the rules for failing to achieve what we desire? This is my surprised face.

    • If somebody cares enough to filibuster against it, you’ll need enough votes to bust the filibuster.
      I guess in 1994 I guess the Constitution didn’t have any real friends in the Senate, or that some people voted to end debate before voting against the bill.

  7. I celebrated 10 years ago by buying an AR-15 clearly labeled Military or Police Only along with 30 round mags marked Restricted- Law enforcement Only.

    They really thought that was going to be forever.

  8. Seems to me I remember AR rifles for sale between 1994 and 2004. The were sold with a 10 round magazine, no bayonet lug and pinned non-collapsible stock. Everything else was normal.

    Has my memory failed me? I spent a fair amount of those 10 years deployed and was far more interested in wine and women.

  9. If Democrats like O’bama was POTUS during 911 we’d have surrendered to O’sama and be giving him money not too attack us again, plus free Weaponry and training!
    let us look at Billie’s domestic record, Ruby Ridge, Waco, WTC truck bomb, Oklahoma city truck bomb, Amtrack Sabotage, Muslim shooting Jews, Columbine high school, Nazi shooting Jews in Atlanta, so like all perverted Democrats his record is worse than any other presidents! but he did it all good! yup perversion rules in the Democrat Party no wonder they are so tight with the Priests and the goat ropers! come one come all, F the US u,p destroy the Fabric of American life Feinstien, Shumer and the rest,

  10. AlaninFL, you are correct in their being no such thing as Assult weapons, there was a German Gun that Hitler named and it means assault but since when do DEMOCRATS want to be Truthful! That is why they want to control education so children aren’t taught actual History, the DEMOCRATS were against ending SLAVERY, created the Jim Crow Laws (which was an actor) that dressed up to represent what the DEMOCRATS believe, the KKK, etc. I would like to know the amount given to Senator Feinsteins Foundation’s that are of course hidden by the anti gun individuals, groups, Organizations. Plus the information on Factual numbers she presented for the 10 years after the Assult Weapons Ban ended in 2004 were not an INCREASE but a DECREASE. So as you can see the deception to people in this country about the truth DOESN’T meet their narrative. Why are the DEMOCRATS always been pursuing disarming legal law abiding citizens, they love power and control so by doing so would permit the exact reason our Forefathers provided the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Right’s, so that one may defend themselves against a Tyrannical Government! With mainstream media providing cover and now the Social Networks. Don’t you just love how they deny controlling, Restricting certain groups, than someone in the compànies expose meetings proving they do. How many Democrats are running for re-election that have sexual, violent accusations against them that aren’t fictional. But it’s okay since they Liberal’s the same is not true if ConserVative.

  11. Great Comments good bad or ugly.I think we are good to go and on Nov 6th, 2018 The Red Wave will eclipse the Blue Wave!

    God Bless Real America again!

  12. Are we talking about the same ‘assault weapon’ ban that lasted for ten years, had no effect whatsoever on crime rates and hence was allowed to sunset after 10 years. We are actually going to celebrate a total failure?
    We should be hailing it as proof positive that gun laws don’t change a thing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here