A study analyzing FBI data found that 20% of the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty from 1998 to 2001 were killed with an assault weapon.1

As of 1994, 21% of civilian-owned handguns and 18% of all civilian-owned firearms were equipped with magazines that could hold 10 or more rounds.2

Guns equipped with large capacity magazines were involved in 14% to 26% of gun crimes prior to the federal assault weapon ban in 1994 (the ban expired in 2004), as compared with assault weapons, which accounted for 6% of gun crimes.3

Anecdotal evidence from law enforcement leaders suggests that military-style assault weapons are increasingly being used against law enforcement by drug dealers and gang members.4

For additional information about assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, including background information and state and local laws on these topics, see the Law Center’s Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines policy summaries.

  1. Violence Policy Center, “Officer Down” — Assault Weapons and the War on Law Enforcement, Section One: Assault Weapons, the Gun Industry, and Law Enforcement (May 2003), at http://www.vpc.org/studies/officeone.htm. ⤴︎
  2. Christopher S. Koper, An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003, Report to the National Institute of Justice, United States Department of Justice 6, 18 (June 2004). ⤴︎
  3. Id. at 18-19. ⤴︎
  4. International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Taking a Stand: Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities 26-7 (Sept. 2007). ⤴︎