For Release: Monday, April 19, 2004
Washington, DC – Five years after Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher with an arsenal that included a Hi-Point Carbine assault rifle and a TEC- DC9 assault pistol, assault weapons continue to threaten America’s police and public in spite of a 1994 federal law intended to ban these military-style weapons the Violence Policy Center (VPC) warned today. Without action by Congress and President Bush, the law will expire on September 13, 2004.
Crime gun traces of the Hi-Point Carbine which did not exist when the 1994 law was passed jumped from zero in 1995 to 505 in 2000. Introduced in 1996, this inexpensive ($200-$300) assault rifle moves faster than any other rifle or shotgun from first retail sale by a federal firearms licensee to recovery at a crime scene, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) data. At the same time, the gun industry has made slight, cosmetic design changes to outlawed weapons to evade the 1994 ban. For example, although the TEC-DC9 was banned by name in 1994, it was quickly replaced by a “post-ban” model, the AB-10 (“AB” stands for after ban). Trace numbers for the AB-10 jumped from eight in 1995 to 746 in 2000. Gunmakers are today manufacturing and selling “post-ban” versions of AR-15s, AK-47s, UZIs, MAC-10s, and other assault weapons.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “The Columbine shooting is a case study for why renewal of the current assault weapons ban is not enough. To truly ban assault weapons, the law must not only be renewed, but strengthened.”
Intratec AB-10s and Hi-Point Carbines Traced to Crime Scenes, 1995 to 2000
Legislation pending in Congress, the “Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003,” would enact a permanent assault weapons ban and significantly strengthen current law to address the limitations that have allowed the gun industry to circumvent the ban.