(PresidentialHill.com)- During a speech in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, President Joe Biden claimed that once the 1994–2004 “assault weapons” ban lapsed, the number of mass shootings “tripled.”
“Back in 1994, I challenged the NRA and passed the ‘assault weapons ban,” Biden boasted. He claimed there were less mass shootings for ten years.
“But in 2004,” he said, “ Republicans let that ban expire, and what happened? Mass shootings tripled.”
Two issues need to be clarified: First, he asserted that the prohibition was successful while it was in force, and second, he asserted that when the ban was lifted, the number of mass shootings “tripled.”
On February 19, 2018, Breitbart News examined a report by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a division of the Department of Justice, which concluded that the “assault weapons” prohibition was not responsible for any decrease in crime.
The restriction expired when the NIJ report was issued in 2004.
Christopher Koper, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the NIJ report’s author, said that we could not unambiguously credit the ban with any of the nation’s recent decline in gun crime. There has been no appreciable decrease in gun violence’s deadly and damaging nature.
Koper said the impacts of the ban on gun violence are expected to be minimal at best and maybe too tiny for meaningful evaluation.
So much for the arguments that the prohibition had a positive impact. Consider the assertion that the number of mass shootings tripled after the ban was lifted.
Mass shooting fatalities, according to Biden, increased after the prohibition was repealed. He seems to be relying on research conducted from 1981 to 2017 by a team led by Charles DiMaggio, a professor of surgery at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, published in 2019 in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.
According to their research, 314 out of 448, or 70%, of the fatalities from mass shootings during the years the prohibition was not in place may have been avoided. However, several analysts have criticized the study’s use of data.
According to the new mass-shooting database, there were 31 mass shootings in the decade before the 1994 law, 31 during the ten years the law was in effect (from September 13, 1994, to September 12, 2004), and 47 during the decade following its expiration.
As was mentioned, population growth is partly responsible for that increase.
The assertion that the “assault weapons” ban’s expiration led to a “tripling” of mass shootings is largely untrue. Although there was a little uptick in these shootings, it does not appear that the ban’s expiration was the cause of them.