Posted on March 12, 2012
The federal ban on large capacity ammunition magazines expired along with the federal assault weapon ban in 2004. Data on recovery of these magazines by law enforcement demonstrate that the federal ban on these dangerous devices was effective in reducing their availability and use.
While the federal assault weapon/large capacity ammunition magazine ban was in effect (1994 – 2004), the Virginia State Police experienced a steady decline in the number of firearms with large capacity magazines recovered in crimes, reaching a low of 10% in 2004. In 2005, the year after Congress failed to renew the ban, that number increased by 24%. By 2010, nearly 22% of guns recovered in crimes had large capacity magazines. Over time, it appears the prevalence of these magazines was declining while the federal law was in effect.1
- David S. Fallis et al., About the Project: The Hidden Life of Guns, Wash. Post, Jan. 22, 2011, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/22/AR2011012204243.html; David S. Fallis & James V. Grimaldi, Virginia Data Show Drop in Criminal Firepower During Assault Gun Ban, Wash. Post, Jan. 23, 2011, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/12/14/ST2010121406431.html?sid=ST2010121406431. The Washington Post analyzed the effect in Virginia of the assault weapons ban on firearms with large capacity magazines. To do this, Post journalists reviewed data from the Criminal Firearms Clearinghouse, a database maintained by the Virginia State Police that tracks guns recovered by local law enforcement across the state. The database has information on more than 100,000 firearms recovered by more than 200 local police departments since 1993. [↩]