White House Falsely Claims ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ Diminished Violence

In a blatant misrepresentation of the facts, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre this week claimed that the period in which “assault weapons” were banned saw a decline in mass shootings.

This followed her boss’ Tuesday statement asking for Congress to send an “assault weapons” ban to his desk.

Tuesday’s White House press conference began with Jean-Pierre recounting the pair of mass shootings that rocked California in just under 48 hours. This is the state which coincidentally has the most stringent gun control laws in the nation, including a ban on “assault weapons.”

Despite this, Jean-Pierre advocated for a ban on the popular rifles at the federal level. It was then that she asserted that “the last time we had an ‘assault weapons’ ban on the books, thanks to the President and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) leadership, mass shootings actually went down.”

Only, her statement was patently false.

According to the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the ban in place from 1994 to 2004 could not be credited with a drop in gun violence.

Further, the NIJ report’s author, University of Pennsylvania professor Christopher Koper, told the Washington Times that no such drop was recorded. He instead stated, “there has been no discernable reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence.”

One reason for the lack of impact was the simple fact, as reported by the NIJ, that the targeted weapons were “rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.” This resulted in the law’s impact being “perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

In other words, the act looked good to its supporters on paper and made them feel good about themselves and their efforts to stop mass shootings.

But in reality, there were no measurable effects other than depriving law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights. Violence did not diminish and criminals continued to be criminals.

As Breitbart News noted in 2013, so-called “assault weapons” accounted for under .012% of overall deaths in the U.S. in recent years. And the reasons are obvious. The guns inaccurately described as “assault rifles” are large and difficult to conceal.

This means they are a bad choice for criminals who want to escape undetected. Indeed, both recent California mass shootings were apparently carried out by assailants using pistols.

The anti-gun crusaders are not above trumpeting falsehoods in their quest to turn the American public against the Second Amendment. And the White House is spreading misinformation when it claims that the previous ban on “assault weapons” had any positive effect on the country.