For Release: Friday, July 29, 2022
Washington, DC – Following today’s passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of legislation to ban assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines, Violence Policy Center (VPC) Government Affairs Director Kristen Rand issued the following statement:
“Assault weapons are the clearest example of how today’s gun industry innovates for lethality rather than for safety. A ban on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines is essential to making us all safer.
“Semiautomatic assault weapons equipped with large-capacity ammunition magazines incorporate characteristics specifically designed to make these guns more lethal on the battlefield, yet in most states they are sold as easily as bolt-action hunting rifles. As a result of the gun industry’s hyper-marketing of these military-bred weapons (see https://vpc.org/slideshows-examples-of-how-the-gun-industry-markets-its-militarized-weapons-to-civilian-gun-buyers/), they are consistently used by civilians to carry out unspeakable atrocities, including mass shootings (see http://vpc.org/fact_sht/VPCshootinglist.pdf). In addition to being the weapons of choice of domestic terrorists, U.S.-manufactured assault weapons are also amassed by criminal enterprises in Mexico and used to terrorize citizens and threaten civil order.”
Assault weapons also pose a demonstrable threat to law enforcement. A VPC analysis of FBI data shows that one in five law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty from 2016 to 2018 were killed with assault weapons (see https://vpc.org/press/new-data-shows-one-in-five-law-enforcement-officers-slain-in-the-line-of-duty-from-2016-to-2018-were-felled-by-an-assault-weapon/).