Feinstein to Introduce Updated Assault Weapons Bill in New Congress |Volokh Conspiracy

… So reports a press release from last week; note these details:

A Justice Department study found the Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent decline in total gun murders. However, since the 2004 expiration of the bill, assault weapons have been used in at least 459 incidents, resulting in 385 deaths and 455 injuries.

Three thoughts:

1. The study that Sen. Feinstein is apparently referring to did seem to find that states in which an assault weapon ban was first introduced (but that lacked certain other confounding factors) “were 6.7 percent below the projection” of what the gun murder rate would be without the assault weapons ban. But in the very next sentence, the study says, “Random, year-to-year fluctuations could not be ruled out as an explanation of the 6.7-percent drop,” and later says, “The public safety benefits of the 1994 ban have not yet been demonstrated.” Continue reading