During that time, “we witnessed gun crime with assault weapons drop by up to 40 percent,” Pelosi said on the House floor during the recent debate.
“The number of murders with rifles actually increased slightly when the ban went into effect,” John R Lott Jr., the president of Crime Research, told The Epoch Times, referring to data from the FBI’s annual release of reports from law enforcement agencies on homicides by weapon type. Lott also pointed out that no one collects data on all crimes committed with so-called assault weapons.
The term “assault weapon” is a political phrase referring to semi-automatic rifles with various cosmetic features. The House bill calls an “assault weapon” a rifle that has one feature such as a pistol grip, folding stock, or grenade launcher.
While Pelosi makes it sound like there’s a grave risk of being killed by a rifle, it’s actually a rare crime. Lott has reported that the percentage of firearm murders with any type of rifles was 4.8 percent prior to the ban starting in September 1994. During the 10-year ban, homicide by rifle was 4.9 percent of all murders. Then rifle homicides dropped to 3.6 percent after the ban expired in 2004.