20+ years of FBI data – “Assault Rifles” pose little threat to public safety
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20+ years of FBI data – “Assault Rifles” pose little threat to public safety
[Image: 1280px-Modified_AR-15-1024x768.jpeg]
AR15s are now by far the most popular gun being sold on the civilian market in the United States. By some estimates, nearly a quarter of all firearms sold in 2014 and 2015 were so-called “Assault Rifles” like the AR15, of this 25% figure, the vast majority were AR15s or variants thereof.


Since 1995 (the year after the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban), the FBI has maintained a very detailed list of how many people have died at the hands of assault weapons and/or rifles, which are merged into the same group. Therefore, we can make a solid comparison on what gun violence looks like.


In 2014, you are 67% less likely to be murdered by an assault weapon or rifle than you were in 1995.
 
[Image: Ar15s-compared-to-murders.jpg]





As a total share of the responsibility of murders in America, rifles are half as likely to be used in 2014 (2.07%) as they were during the peak year during the AWB in 1997 (4.08%).

Averaging out all years of the Assault Weapons Ban (1995 – 2003), we find that Assault Weapons/Rifles were used in 3.29% of all murders in the US, including mass murders and other crimes.
In the 10 years following the sunset of the ban (2005 – 2014), we find that Assault Weapons/Rifles were used in 2.62% of all murders in the United States. Therefore, there was a sizable decrease in the frequency of deaths caused by Assault Weapons/Rifles.
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The media on both sides will try to make different narratives about guns, violence, and what actions need to be taken. Both sides are, and have knee-jerk reactions to tragedies. What I fear is that laws will be created and borne out of feelings and emotions rather than solid, empirical evidence. As per the FBI, this is the data we have available, and it does not suggest in any way that another ban or restriction will have any meaningful effect on murder, mass murder, or violence in America.

I would suggest, then, that murder and violence in America has a deeper systemic issue that will not be solved by reactionary laws.


Spreadsheet source for data provided in article : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rMvH0wvt4qqmU86FZYgIQLMzUK-xWpTmYsp8IY6Cm-w/edit?usp=sharing

Note
2010 – 2014:

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/tables/expanded-homicide-data/expanded_homicide_data_table_8_murder_victims_by_weapon_2010-2014.xls

2009:
Table 20
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2009

2008:
Table 20
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2008

2007:
Table 20
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2007

State data from table 20 aggregated into a final tally for all states
2006:
Table 20
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2006

State data from table 20 aggregated into a final tally for all states
2005:
Table 7
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2005

Note: 2005 UCR Table 7 contains different values for murders and firearm usage for 2001-2005. As per table, 2,111 murders were commited with rifles, and 71,859 murders were committed in the aforementioned time span
2004:
Table 20
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2004

State data from table 20 aggregated into a final tally for all states
2003:
Table 2.12
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2003

2002:
Table 2.13
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2002

2001:
Table 2.13
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2001

2000:
Table 2.13
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2000

1999:
Table 2.13
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/1999

1998:
Table 2.13
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/1998/98sec2.pdf

1997:
Table 2.13
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/1997/97sec2.pdf

1996:
Table 2.13
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/1996/96sec2.pdf

1995:
Table 2.13
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/1995/95sec2.pdf

Pre-1994 Murder Numbers
http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm


These numbers do not entirely mesh with data obtained from the FBI UCR directly.

US Population:
http://www.multpl.com/united-states-population/table
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