Friday, March 02, 2007

Every 48 Hours

There is a new "study" floating around Maryland and the internet put out by CeaseFire Maryland. It is called "Every 48 Hours"(pdf). The study was published in September 2006. Quoting the "study":

On average, assault weapons are so frequently used in crime that one assault rifle is traced back to a Maryland crime every 48 hours.
Specifically to arrive at this "every 48 hours" were five "assault" rifles that were traced to crimes between Jan 2, 1998 and Dec 31, 2001, a span of four years. These rifles were the AR-15, M1 Carbine, Ruger Mini-14, HiPoint 9mm Carbine, and Norinco SKS.

Sounds pretty scary. Every 48 hours one of these weapons is used in a crime in Maryland. This study is cited as reference to a new bill in that state to ban assault weapons. This "study" is also very dishonest in it's reporting. Let's take a look at some of the factors.

The study focused on 789 "assault" rifles traced back to crime in Maryland during the dates mentioned above. The five rifles they mention accounted for 508 of these crimes.

The "study" looked at "traced" back to crimes. This is where the "study" is REALLY dishonest. A crime trace involves tracking the serial number of a firearm reguardless of what that firearm was used for. The trace finds out where the firearm came from, and who the supposed owner is. It is the same trace used for vehicle identification numbers (VIN) on stolen and abandoned cars.

So a "trace" on a firearm could be because the firearm was stolen and recovered. A trace on a firearm could be caused by a drug dealer being busted and a firearm found on him or his property, even if the firearm was not in use at the time. This trace is triggered by the drug bust.

These are just two examples of a "trace" that can happen to firearms. Any time a firearm is found during a crime investigation of any kind that firearm is traced even if the firearm itself was not involved in the crime commited.

For more information on BATF gun tracing see this article:

BATF AW 'traces' by Kopel

For examples of the crimes mentioned in the "study" not one of them actually occured in Maryland. The closest in geography was the DC Snipers in 2002 (which incidentally occured DURING the national Assault Weapons Ban that did not expire until 2004). All the examples the study specifically mentioned were national high profile cases.

Before signing on to any gun grabbers claims please research any "study" they cite yourself before jumping on the wagon.

Remember this "study" when HR1022 comes up here in a few months, if it gets out of commitee. I'm sure someone with a D next to their name will bring it up as evidence.

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