"While the trend models show a reduction in the crime growth rate following the adoption of right-to-carry laws, these trend reductions occur long after law adoption, casting serious doubt on the proposition that the trend models estimated in the literature reflect effects of the law change," an in-depth statistical analysis by the Committee on Law and Justice says.
The Assault Weapons Ban Curbed Gun Violence
The Department of Justice conducted a study in 2004, after the 1994 assault weapon ban legislation expired, that explored just how well the ban worked. The study has been used selectively by pro-gun and gun-control supporters as evidence why the ban worked or failed. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
The report stated that "we cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence...should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement."
While the bill may have curtailed the use of assault weapons banned under the legislation, DOJ reports the bill could not be credited for reducing overall gun violence.
DOJ investigator Christopher Koper cited that part of the ban's ineffectiveness came from the number of loopholes in the law. There were still 1.5 million assault weapons floating around after the ban passed.
"What we found in these studies was that the ban had mixed effects in reducing crimes with the banned weaponry due to various exemptions that were written into the law," Koper wrote in his study. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has sponsored a new assault weapons ban, claims that the 1994 ban led to a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders. While that statistic is accurate, experts warn that correlation does not always prove causation.
"With only one year of post-ban data, we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban," the DOJ study says.