Published on December 17th, 20120
Would an assault weapons ban work?
When Adam Lanza shot 26 people in Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, police say he mainly relied on an AR-15 “assault-style weapon,” a semiautomatic rifle that could rapidly fire multiple high-velocity rounds. He was also equipped with magazines that held 30 bullets each.
Advocates of stricter gun control argue that it shouldn’t be so easy to have access to weapons that powerful — or to magazines capable of holding so many bullets. And so, on Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she would introduce new legislation to ban assault weapons at the start of the next Congress. President Obama has also said that he’d support a federal ban.
But how much would this legislation do? Back in 1994, Congress passed a federal assault-weapons ban that lasted 10 years. Experts who have studied the law tend to agree that it was rife with loopholes and generally ineffective at curbing gun violence — though it might well have reduced mass shootings.
Here’s a look at what the 1994 law actually did, where it failed, and whether it could be reworked to significantly reduce gun violence.
Source: Wired. Read full article. (link)