Assault weapons ban worked in Virginia. Researcher: “I was skeptical that the ban would be effective, and I was wrong."


tweet terkel guns high capacity magazines

reality has a liberal bias

Dems often have the facts on their side of arguments, and we know how Republicans hate that. Reality has a liberal bias, right? The other day, in an article  in the Washington Post by David S. Fallis, this reality was reported:

During the 10-year federal ban on assault weapons, the percentage of firearms equipped with high-capacity magazines seized by police agencies in Virginia dropped, only to rise sharply once the restrictions were lifted in 2004, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. [...]

In Virginia, The Post found that the rate at which police recovered firearms with high-capacity magazines — mostly handguns and, to a smaller extent, rifles — began to drop around 1998, four years into the ban. It hit a low of 9 percent of the total number of guns recovered the year the ban expired, 2004.

The next year, the rate began to climb and continued to rise in subsequent years, reaching 20 percent in 2010, according to the analysis of a little-known Virginia database of guns recovered by police. In the period The Post studied, police in Virginia recovered more than 100,000 firearms, more than 14,000 of which had high-capacity magazines.

To some researchers, the snapshot in Virginia suggests that the federal ban may have started to curb the widespread availability of the larger magazines.

I was skeptical that the ban would be effective, and I was wrong,” said Garen Wintemute, head of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California at Davis School of Medicine. The database analysis offers “about as clear an example as we could ask for of evidence that the ban was working.”

The massacre in Tucson by Jared Lee Loughner prompted the Post analysis.  As you may recall, he killed six people and shot Gabby Giffords and 12 others with a legally purchased semiautomatic handgun and a 33-round magazine. After that, there was one mass shooting after another, many involving shooters using high-capacity magazines.

The federal ban that expired in 2004 required magazines to hold no more than 10 rounds. There was a Big However though, because large capacity magazines manufactured before the ban could still be sold.

The research overall has not been as definitive, as was noted in a 2004 report that said, “Success in reducing criminal use of the banned guns and magazines has been mixed.” But it's pretty obvious that it is easier to mass kill when you can spray a larger number of lethal bullets in quick succession at a crowd of people before having to reload.

File that under "Duh."

well duh

H/t: Amanda Terkel