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.