By: José Niño
During a speech on March 1, 2023, President Joe Biden declared that he’s going to prohibit so-called “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines “come hell or high water.” Biden made his anti-gun remarks in Baltimore, Maryland at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference.
“I know it may make some of you uncomfortable, but that little state above me, Delaware is one of them, has the highest rate, one of the highest rates of gun ownership. But guess what? We’re going to ban assault weapons again come hell or high water and high capacity magazines. When we did it last time to reduce mass deaths,” Biden declared.
Biden’s comments came following a shooting at Michigan State University on February 13 that resulted in the deaths of three students. A day following the Michigan State University shooting, and during the five-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, the Biden administration revealed that the Justice Department would grant $231 million to states for the purpose of crisis intervention. These funds can also be used to bolster “red-flag” gun confiscation orders and plans to allegedly stop gun violence.
“These awards will support the kinds of crisis intervention programs that we know save lives and help protect children, families, and communities across the country from senseless acts of gun violence,” Attorney General Merrick Garland stated.
Biden noted that the funds can be used to educate the American public on red-flag gun confiscation orders. “Red flag laws, however, only save lives if community members effectively use this tool. Today’s announcement gives states funding to educate the public about extreme risk protection orders and train law enforcement and other officials regarding this intervention,” Biden continued.
The last time an assault weapons ban was in effect was from 1994 to 2004. The 1994 assault weapons ban was a subsection of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which then-President Bill Clinton signed into law on September 13, 1994.
Pro-gun researchers have argued that the 1994 assault weapons ban had little impact on crime. According to research from economist John Lott, “there was no drop in the number of attacks with assault weapons during the 1994 to 2004 ban. There was an increase after the ban sunset, but the change is not statistically significant.”
Due to Republican control of the US House, any anti-gun legislative proposal put forth by the Biden administration will likely be dead on arrival.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.