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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gun data show federal magazine ban had big impact in Virginia - until it expired

The gun ban was showing progress

From the piece:

In Virginia, the Post found that the rate at which police recovered firearms with high-capacity magazines — mostly handguns and to a smaller extent rifles — began to drop around 1998, four years into the ban. It hit a low of 9 percent of the total number of guns recovered the year the ban expired, 2004.

The next year, the rate began to climb and continued to rise in subsequent years, reaching 20 percent in 2010, according to the analysis of a little-known Virginia database of guns recovered by police. In the period The Post studied, police in Virginia recovered more than 100,000 firearms, more than 14,000 of which had high-capacity magazines.

To some researchers, the snapshot in Virginia suggests that the federal ban may have started to curb the widespread availablity of the larger magazines.

“I was skeptical that the ban would be effective, and I was wrong,” said Garen Wintemute, head of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California at Davis School of Medicine. “The trend downward in high-capacity magazine use during the ban, the immediate and marked reversal when the ban was lifted and the sustained rise thereafter, are about as clear an example as we could ask for of evidence that the ban was working.”

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