No Evidence Assault Weapon Bans Reduce Mass Shootings: Study

February 19, 2020 Updated: February 19, 2020
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There is no evidence that banning assault weapons will reduce the “incidence of fatal mass shootings,” a study has found.

The study, conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, analyzed fatal mass shootings in 45 states between 1984 and 2017 and the association between the rates of those shootings and the presence of various firearm laws.

It concluded that it “did not find an independent association between assault weapon bans and the incidence of fatal mass shootings after controlling for the effects of bans on large-capacity magazines.”

However, it did note that “firearm purchaser licensing laws that require an in-person application or fingerprinting are associated with an estimated 56 percent fewer fatal mass shootings in states that have them.”

“After each horrible mass shooting, there are always policy debates on how they can be prevented,” said lead author Daniel Webster, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

“One side often calls for expanding background checks to private purchasers, and the other usually calls for fewer restrictions on civilian gun carrying. Our findings indicate that neither of those prescriptions are associated with lower rates of fatal mass shootings.”

“What does appear to work to reduce mass shootings are licensing laws and laws banning large-capacity magazines,” Webster added.

Originally established as the “Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health,” the school was renamed “Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,” in 2001, in honor of billionaire Michael Bloomberg who has donated an estimated $2.9 billion to Johns Hopkins University over a period of several decades.

The former mayor of New York, who is currently running as a Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election, is a strong anti-gun advocate who has challenged the Second Amendment allowing people to keep and bear arms.

Last year, Bloomberg said on Twitter that he will do “everything in my power to stop the epidemic of gun violence,” if he were to be elected as president of the United States.

His campaign has proposed overhauling the background check system for all gun sales, making it much more “effective,” and keeping guns “out of the hands of people who pose a danger to themselves or others by closing domestic violence loopholes, prohibiting violent offenders, and enacting red flag laws nationwide.”

Bloomberg said he will also protect children and communities by banning assault weapons, protecting schools, and preventing unintentional shootings and tackling gun violence in the hardest-hit communities by increasing funding to a number of community-based violence programs, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and public health research on the matter.

His campaign also aims to hold the gun industry accountable and elevate the government’s response to the gun violence crisis by giving the Consumer Product Safety Commission the authority to adopt minimum gun safety standards and declare the gun violence crisis to be a public health emergency to expedite funds and research.

Gun rights have long been a controversial topic in America, with proponents such as the National Association For Gun Rights arguing that individuals should be legally eligible to purchase a firearm and carry it, concealed, for self-defense, without government “permission.”