Senator Defends Assault Weapons, Claims Criminals Don’t Use Them To Kill People

A day before the senate begins debate on a comprehensive package of gun safety measures, Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) told a local radio station on Wednesday that the provisions being proposed would have done nothing to prevent the tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut since criminals don’t use assault-style weapons “to commit crimes.”

Appearing on “The Alice Stewart Show,” which airs on KHTE 96.5 The Voice, Boozman condemned the Congressional push to regulate firearms and predicted that it would fail:

BOOZMAN: Nothing that’s being proposed would have any effect on that at all. When you look at the studies, 90 percent of violent crime is hand guns, 5 percent is rifles, less than 1 percent is assault-style weapons and again these are not the automatic weapons that soldiers carry. But they’re big, bulky, people don’t use them to commit crimes and so as a result it still doesn’t do anything.

Assault weapons may not be the weapon of choice for most gun criminals in the United States, but they are far more deadly, as the mass killing in Newtown, Connecticut demonstrated. A recent study of mass shootings since January 2009 from Mayors Against Illegal Violence found that while “just 12 of the mass-shooting incidents, or 28 percent, involved assault weapons or high-capacity magazines,” those incidents resulted in “an average of 8.3 deaths, compared with 5.4 deaths on average for the rest.”


Limits on assaults weapons and high capacity magazines are not part of the comprehensive gun package the Senate will consider this week, but will be offered as amendments on the floor.