Newly released FBI crime statistics show that the number of murders committed by all rifles dropped significantly in 2018 while newly released data from the Department of Justice strongly suggests that the government’s bump stock ban has been a complete failure.
The new FBI data showed that all murder dropped by 6.2% in 2018 and that gun murders also dropped by 6.7% in 2018. Specifically, murders committed by all types of rifles combined dropped by a staggering 23.9%.
The FBI data was released in a report from the bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, which “defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. The classification of this offense is based solely on police investigation as opposed to the determination of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial body. The UCR Program does not include the following situations in this offense classification: deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and attempts to murder or assaults to murder, which are classified as aggravated assaults.”
The data on the bump stock ban from the DOJ was obtained by The Washington Times, which reported that “between the issuance of the final rule banning the devices in December 2018 and April 4, 2019, shortly after the prohibition took effect in late March, 582 bump stocks were ‘abandoned’ to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to Justice Department records, and 98 bump stocks were kept as evidence.”
The Times, which obtained the information via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, noted that the Trump administration estimated that there were up to “520,000 bump-stock-type devices … in circulation” when the administration banned the firearm accessory.
ATF spokeswoman April Langwell told the Times that the 98 bump stocks that were kept as “evidence” were turned over by citizens who wanted to obey the law but who also want the bump stocks back if the ban is overturned in the courts.
Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told the Times: “There’s a significant feeling of ‘will not comply’ with gun confiscation-type laws on one hand, and on the other hand quite honestly, most gun owners probably don’t know that you were supposed to turn them in or destroy them and so they’re just keeping them anyway. I’ve traveled around the country since this was put into effect, and I don’t know anybody that had one that turned one in.”
The dramatic decline in murders committed by rifles and the Trump administration’s inability to get law-abiding citizens to turn in their bump stocks is a massive blow for anti-gun extremists like Democrat presidential candidate Robert Francis O’Rourke, who has repeatedly stated that he intends to confiscate semi-automatic firearms from law-abiding Americans.
The Times further noted that Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, “predicted that the compliance rate would be even worse if the government ever bans actual firearms, rather than accessories such as bump stocks.”
Pratt warned President Donald Trump that his bump stock ban “will not garner one vote from the anti-gun left but may work to lose supporters from his base” and that this action by his administration potentially could open the door to banning all semi-automatic firearms.