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Gun Trace Deception

Gun trace data is generally not indicative of violent crime, as the ATF has said. But Ceasefire MD says:

One semiautomatic assault rifle was traced to a Maryland crime every 48 hours, according to a study by CeaseFire Maryland Inc. released today.

The data, from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) show that 789 assault rifles were traced to crime in Maryland from Jan. 2, 1998 to Dec. 31, 2001, but the actual number of assault weapons traced to crime in the state is likely to be higher.

Insert rant about how there is no such thing as a semiautomatic assault rifle. Assault rifles are, by definition, machine guns and are fully automatic. I think they mean traces in general. David Hardy says 90% are unrelated to crimes. Seems a big to do about nothing. More:

“With assault weapons being traced to crime in Maryland an average of every 48 hours, more needs to be done to get these guns off Maryland streets and to help law enforcement keep our communities safe,” said Lisa Delity, president of CeaseFire Maryland Inc. Lisa’s brother, FBI Special Agent Mike Miller, was gunned down with an assault weapon at Washington, D.C., police headquarters in November 1994.

Are they assault weapons or assault rifles? And aren’t assault weapons (and all guns) banned in DC?

Update: And the press gets it way wrong, which is Ceasefire MD’s intent:

Study: Long Guns Used in Md. Crime Once Every Two Days

Semiautomatic rifles and shotguns are used in a crime in Maryland on average once every two days, according to a study released Wednesday by gun control advocates.

Err, no. The guns are traced every two days. And said crime includes tracing stolen guns, etc.

Update: PGP has much more.

6 Responses to “Gun Trace Deception”

  1. Heartless Libertarian Says:

    You know, when they say “traced to crime,” it doesn’t specify that they were actually used to commit a crime.

    How many of those scary looking firearms “traced to a crime” were actually stolen weapons recovered by police? Those get traced too. And in how many of the remaining cases was the crime not an actual use of the firearm, but simple possession by a prohibited person?

  2. markm Says:

    If someone broke into my gun cabinet, that would be a half dozen long guns “traced to a crime.” Does this mean that only 182 long guns are stolen per year in Maryland?

  3. Rustmeister Says:

    They need a breakdown on what exactly they found. I’m betting, in this case, “assault weapons” means everything that’s not a pistol.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    pgp has the study.

  5. SayUncle » More on Ceasfire MD study Says:

    […] Prior coverage here. Here’s the study. First, guns traced aren’t always crime gun, despite what they tell you. Here’s the rifles they found: […]

  6. Jay Says:

    From the Ceasefire press release:

    According to the tracing data, the most common assault rifles traced to crime by make and model include: 21 Colt AR-15s; 46 USA Military Surplus M1 Carbines; 55 Ruger Mini14s; 92 HiPoint 9mm carbines; and 294 North China Industries SKS variants.

    Note the inclusion of “Ruger Mini14s” as “assault rifles.”
    Yet these rifles were specicifically exempted from the 1994 assault weapon ban as “Hunting and Sporting Firearms.”

    Senator Feinstein, the author of the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban, says on her web site:

    Hunting Guns and Other Recreational Weapons Exempted in the Legislation:

    Ruger Mini-14 Autoloading Rifle (w/o folding stock)

    The Brady Campaign says on their web site:

    The amendment specifically lists 650 sporting rifles that would not be affected by the ban.

    Then-President Clinton said in “An Open Letter to Hunters and Sportsmen” on April 29, 1994:

    “High-paid lobbyists argue that the assault weapons ban will infringe on our right, as hunters and sportsmen, to own guns. But what they don’t tell you is that the proposal I support specifically safeguards hunter’s rights. It explicitly protects more than 650 hunting and recreational rifles from the ban.”

    Why is Ceasefire describing as “assault rifles” guns that were described as “hunting,” “sporting,” and “recreational” rifles by Senator Feinstein, the Brady Campaign, and President Clinton?

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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