Policy Analysis of Assault Weapons & High-Capacity Magazine Bans

Student: Christopher Miller

Mentor(s): Christine Henderson, Kurt Ikemeier


In the United States, one of the main arguments is gun control rights and gun control legislation. Many people claim more gun control will mean less crime, while others believe more guns can reduce crime. One side argues that guns are the main reason and causation of the uprise of mass shootings in the United States, and the others argue that the cause of mass shootings is more complicated than gun ownership. One of the main reasons for the push of assault weapons ban and high capacity magazines is the claim of high capacity weaponry is used more in mass shootings more than any other firearm. Another claim is that high assault weapons are different from regular hunting rifles. Others believe there is a Constitutional right to own any firearm and, therefore, should not be able to be outlawed because, by doing so, disarms law-abiding citizens, not criminals. While there is disagreement, most people can agree there is a need to look at other issues that could be causing mass shootings and why there has been an uprise in mass shootings. I propose a second look at firearm type research, analyzing statistics behind gun violence and exploring opinions from experts. I use interviews with law enforcement and secondary analysis of United States gun violence scholars to demonstrate the irrelevance of weapon types used in crimes. Exploring other types of legislation to end gun violence, especially mass shootings, without taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens, is relevant and timely.


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