A report by the Department of Justice’s National Institute for Justice (NIJ) summarizes their findings for the current wave of gun proposals as mostly “ineffective.” The report titled Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies was obtained by the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) and subsequently published on their website.

The report touches on many points in the gun control debate, such as universal background checks, “high capacity” magazines and “assault weapons.” The NIJ memo gives a cursory rundown of these categories, but the overarching  message is that the gun control proposals that are being debated now will not work. Below is a snapshot of the NIJ’s findings.

Gun buybacks

“Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented,” says the report. The weapons turned in through buybacks are just too few and unlikely to be used in a crime to have an effect overall.

“Large capacity” magazines

A beneficial outcome of curtailing “large capacity” magazines could “take decades to realize” under the proposed restrictions. The study finds that the similar 1994 ban also had limited effectiveness.

“Universal background checks”

According to a 2000 study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, 47 percent of the firearms used by criminals are bought through straw purchasers. Another 26 percent are stolen. In order for background checks to be effective, a way has to be found to reduce straw purchasers.

“Assault weapons”

“Assault weapons are not a major contributor to gun crime,” says the report. “…a complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.”

The “assault weapons” ban in its current form is found by the NIJ to have little potential effect on gun violence.

The full report can be read here on the NRA-ILA site.

Image from Joseph Nicolia (irrezolut) on the flickr Creative Commons

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One thought on “Department of Justice Report Finds Gun Control Proposals Ineffective

  1. There is no effective way to reduce the number of straw purchasers. The problem is that criminals don’t look any different than regular people, and there is no practical way to determine if someone is a “prohibited person” and whether or not the gun he/she has actually belongs to him/her. Unless you have guns that glow blue when Orcs (criminals) are near, how on earth can you determine if someone is armed and if so, whether or not the weapon belongs to them, short of creating a draconian police state where officials randomly detain people and cavity-search them?

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