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Effects of the 1994-2004 Ban on Assault WeaponsPart 6 of 6 Parts DiMaggio, C; Avraham, J; Berry, C; Bukur, M; Feldman, J; Klein, M; Shah, N; Tandon, M; Frangos, S (January 2019). "Changes in US mass shooting deaths associated with the 1994–2004 federal assault weapons ban: Analysis of open-source data". The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 86 (1): 11–19. 10.1097/TA.0000000000002060

This study looked at mass shooting data for 1981 to 2017 and found that mass-shooting fatalities were 70% less likely to occur during the 1994 to 2004 federal ban period, and that the ban was associated with a 0.1% reduction in total firearm homicide fatalities due to the reduction in mass-shootings' contribution to total homicides.

Conclusion: Mass-shooting related homicides in the United States were reduced during the years of the federal assault weapons ban of 1994 to 2004.


One of the most-cited studies on the effectiveness of the ban was done in 2004. That federally funded report by the National Institute of Justice at the Department of Justice found that the number of gun crimes involving “automatic” (really?) weapons dropped by 17% in the six cities involved in the study during the ban. The report pointed to a reduction in the use of assault pistols, but noted that there had not been a clear decline in the use of assault rifles.”

“Ultimately, the report claimed that it was ‘premature’ to make any decisive conclusions.”

September 13, 2019


September 13, 2019

“Most reviews of the 1994 version of the assault weapons ban point to loopholes in the text of the bill that, some argue, made it less effective than some would have wanted.”

The bill banned more than a dozen specific firearms and certain features on guns, but because there are so many modifications that can be made on weapons and the fact that it did not outright ban all semiautomatic weapons, many such guns [semiautomatics] continued to be legally used.”


Washington—As the House Judiciary Committee prepares to hold a hearing on Federal Assault Weapons Ban legislation on September 25, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on misinformation spread by the National Rifle Association:

“Studies: Gun Massacre Deaths Dropped During Assault Weapons Ban, Increased After Expiration: Gun massacres fell 37 percent while ban was in place, rose by 183 percent after ban expired,” September 24, 2019

“The NRA likes to say the 1994 federal Assault Weapons Ban didn’t work, but it did work. The data is clear: there were fewer mass shootings while the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect and significantly more after it expired,” Feinstein said.


Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Public Health and Surveillance, published on 22.4.2021 in Vol 7, No 4 (2021);7(4):e26042 doi:10.2196/26042, “Impact of Firearm Surveillance on Gun Control Policy: Regression Discontinuity Analysis,” by Post L, Mason M, Singh LN, Wleklinski NP, Moss CB, Mohammad H, Issa TZ, Akhetuamhen AI, Brandt CA, Welch SB, Oehmke JF

Study methodology: We estimated a regression model of the 5-year moving average number of public mass shootings per year for the period of 1966 to 2019 controlling for population growth and homicides in general, introduced regression discontinuities in the intercept and a time trend for years coincident with the federal legislation (ie, 1994-2004), and also allowed for a differential effect of the homicide rate during this period. (Maybe it’s just me, but what the heck does this mean?)

We introduced a second set of trend and intercept discontinuities for post-FAWB [Federal Assault Weapons Ban] years to capture the effects of termination of the policy. We used the regression results to predict what would have happened from 1995 to 2019 had there been no FAWB and also to project what would have happened from 2005 onward had it remained in place.

Results: The FAWB resulted in a significant decrease in public mass shootings, number of gun deaths, and number of gun injuries. We estimate that the FAWB prevented 11 public mass shootings during the decade the ban was in place. A continuation of the FAWB would have prevented 30 public mass shootings that killed 339 people and injured an additional 1139 people.

overwhelming evidence that bans on assault weapons and/or large-capacity magazines work.


A RAND review of gun studies, updated in 2020, concluded there is “inconclusive evidence for the effect of assault weapon bans on mass shootings. “We don’t think there are great studies available yet to state the effectiveness of assault weapons bans,” Andrew Morral, a RAND senior behavioral scientist who led the project, told in a phone interview. “That’s not to say they aren’t effective. The research we reviewed doesn’t provide compelling evidence one way or the other.


“Did the assault weapons ban of 1994 bring down mass shootings? Here's what the data tells us,” by Michael J. Klein, Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, New York University, June 8, 2022

“Before the 1994 ban:

From 1981 – the earliest year in our analysis – to the rollout of the assault weapons ban in 1994, the proportion of deaths in mass shootings in which an assault rifle was used was lower than it is today. Yet in this earlier period, mass shooting deaths were steadily rising.

During the 1994-2004 ban:

In the years after the assault weapons ban went into effect, the number of deaths from mass shootings fell, and the increase in the annual number of incidents slowed down.

“Breaking the data into absolute numbers, between 2004 and 2017 – the last year of our analysis – the average number of yearly deaths attributed to mass shootings was 25, compared with 5.3 during the 10-year tenure of the ban and 7.2 in the years leading up to the prohibition on assault weapons.” (Above Yahoo reference)

It is also important to note that our analysis cannot definitively say that the assault weapons ban of 1994 caused a decrease in mass shootings, nor that its expiration in 2004 resulted in the growth of deadly incidents in the years since.”


May 22, 2022 - “While the assault weapons ban may not have reduced the number of mass shootings….”

(Since I do not have a subscription to the Washington Post, I could not read the entire article. The above partial sentence appeared on a search.)


May 26, 2022 — “Assault-weapons bans and other familiar proposals would have little effect, and therefore have lukewarm public support.” (Since I do not have a subscription to the Washington Post, I could not read the entire article. The above partial sentence appeared on a search.)

After reading the six parts series on the “Effects of the Assault Weapons Ban,” do you agree or disagree with the conclusions of Wikipedia?

“The scientific consensus among criminologists and other researchers is that the ban had little to no effect on overall criminal activity, firearm deaths, or the lethality of gun crimes. Studies have found that the overwhelming majority of gun crimes are committed with weapons which are not covered by the Assault Weapon Ban, and that assault weapons [AR-15 style rifles] are less likely to be used in homicides than other weapons. There is tentative evidence that the frequency of mass shootings may have slightly decreased while the ban was in effect, but research is inconclusive, with independent researchers finding conflicting results.”

Red Flag law

While not directly associated with the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, Red Flag laws are becoming increasing popular. The “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act” was signed into law by President Joe Biden on June 25, 2022. Gun safety laws in the bill include extended background checks for gun purchasers under 21, clarification of Federal Firearms License requirements, [and]funding for state red flag laws. JAMA Netw Open “Firearm Violence Following the Implementation of California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order Law,” 5 April 2022 by Veronica A. Pear, PhD, Garen J. Wintemute, MD, Nicholas P. Jewell, PhD, and Jennifer Ahern, PhD

“California’s [2016] gun violence restraining order (GVRO) law, [red flag law] implemented beginning in 2016, allows for people at high risk of harming themselves or others with a firearm to be temporarily disarmed and prevented from purchasing firearms for 3 weeks to 1 year; many states have recently enacted similar [red flag] laws.

[Purpose of the study] To determine whether implementation of the California GVRO law was associated with decreased rates of firearm assault or firearm self-harm in a large metropolitan county between 2016 and 2019.

[Conclusion]…the gun violence restraining order law was not significantly associated with a reduction in firearm violence of any kind during its first 4 years of implementation, 2016 to 2019.”

The next blog will be about “Delirium.” If you’re like me, I never heard of it until I got it. It’s important that everyone read the next blog because it might affect you or a loved one,


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