Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Wife of Violent Purse Snatching Suspect Said He’s Innocent


The wife of the Waterbury man who was charged in what police call a “violent purse snatching” that sent an elderly woman to the hospital claims her husband is innocent.

Melissa Haynes said her husband, Antoine Walton, 26, was not behind a purse snatching on Saturday outside the Rite Aid on Fairfield Avenue.

“Everything being said, everything being told ... is not … truthful,” Haynes said.

Capt. Chris Corbett, of the Waterbury Police Department, said a 73-year-old woman was walking outside the store when the man grabbed her purse, knocking her to the ground.

When a Rite Aid store manager tried to intervene, the man threatened he had a gun, but the manager continued to chase him and it wasn’t long before police arrested Walton, police said.

The 72-year-old victim suffered some injuries in the attack, was treated at a local hospital and has been released. 

Haynes said her husband is being falsely accused and was somewhere else when the crime happened.

“He was with his friend. They were just walking around,” she said.

However, police said that alibi didn’t check out. They arrested Walton and charged him with robbery, assault and larceny.

Meantime, Walton’s wife is determined to prove her husband’s innocence.

“I’m going to fight. I’ll do whatever it takes … to get my husband home,” Haynes said.

Walton is due in court later this month.

I-95 in Milford Reopens After Crash


A crash closed I-95 southbound in Milford for a short time during the afternoon rush hour.

A tractor trailer and a box truck were involved in an accident near the exit 40 off-ramp around 4:30 p.m., according to State Police. All southbound lanes were closed while emergency crews cleared the crash.

The highway was reopened around 5:30 p.m.

There were minor injuries reported in the crash.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT

Malloy, Lawmakers Outraged Over NRA Shooter App


The National Rifle Association has released a new shooter game for that is suggested for kids as young as four.

NRA: Practice Range was released as an app in the iTunes store on Sunday, just a month after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"How dumb can you get? How insulting can you be? They are tone deaf. You can quote me on any of that," said Gov. Dannel Malloy on Tuesday.

The app allows users to shoot at targets and does not include the ability to shoot at live subjects. According to the iTunes description, the app "offers a 3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations." The app also provides firearm safety tips and access to NRA news and details on gun laws by state.

"The NRA seems intent on continuing to insult the families of the victims of Sandy Hook," said Sen. Chris Murphy in a statement. "How could they think it was a good idea to use the one month anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook to release a game that teaches four year olds to shoot assault weapons? No matter what outrageous new tool they use, the NRA cannot make a straight-faced case that sport shooters need military-style weapons to enjoy their hobby."

Users who download the free app are provided with an M9 handgun, but can upgrade to an AK47 for $0.99, according to NBCNews.com.

Some criticism from iTunes users was directed at the NRA for releasing the app while placing blame for gun violence on violent video games and movies.

"Is this some kind of sick joke? The NRA complains about violent games and then releases one a week later," said Papershipsonfire, according to NBCNews.com. "Sure you're not shooting humans, but does it really matter?"

Others supported the game on iTunes.

"This is fun and informative plus there is no need for eye and ear protection," said Joe in BrynMawr. "A must have for any gun enthusiast and defender of the U.S. Constitution," NBCNews.com reported.

Photo Credit: iTunes, NRA

50 Years of First Lady Inaugural Fashion

First Lady Michelle Obama during the Midatlantic Regional Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, January 20, 2009. Obama was sworn in as the 44th US president earlier in the day. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

New Animal Cruelty and Rights Legislation to be Introduced



Bertie is half labradoodle and half golden doodle. For Kevin Peloquin and his wife, she is their obsession and one they want to keep as safe as possible.
“People should know where these animals live so they can keep their animals away from them,” Peloquin, of Newington, said.
If one lawmaker gets his way, there will be one for animal offenders. That lawmaker is 47th Assembly District Representative Chris Davis.
Peloquin and many others said they agree with his idea to set up an animal abuser list—similar to the one for sex offenders.
It’s already in place in other parts of the country including in Westchester and Suffolk Counties in New York. The purpose is to have an easily accessible database for adoption agencies and organizations like the Connecticut Humane Society. This way they can verify if a person has a history of mistreating pets.
“It’s something people deal with on a daily basis,” Davis said. “There are victims to this crime. It’s our pets. They’re members of our families.”
The Connecticut Humane Society believes animal cruelty is wrong and that “Animal protection is extremely important. We are pleased that our government officials also see the merits and have introduced several important animal protection and anti-cruelty bills to the 2013 Legislative Session.”
Cyndy Reaves of Rocky Hill is a lifelong dog owner and thinks the proposal is something worth looking into.
“There are just looking for love, they have unconditional love for their owners,” Reaves said.
The hope is the bill will come up for a public hearing in the near future.


Photo Credit: BluePearl Veterinary Partners

Pratt & Whitney Cutting 200 Jobs in CT


Pratt & Whitney is cutting around 200 positions in Connecticut, effective immediately, according to a statement from the company.

This company released the following statement.

"Pratt & Whitney continuously assesses staffing levels to ensure they are in line with current business and economic conditions. When necessary, we make staffing adjustments required to keep our cost structure competitive. As such, Pratt & Whitney is reducing its salaried workforce by approximately 350 positions company-wide, including approximately 200 positions in Connecticut, effective immediately.

"Our long-term outlook is very bright; however, to secure this bright future we must address some near-term challenges. 

"Taking necessary actions to manage our cost structure, while continuing to invest in new programs, positions Pratt & Whitney for the long term and ensures a strong future for the company, our employees, customers and shareowners."

No further information was immediately available.

In December, the company announced that it would cut around 80 jobs in the state because of the completion of the F-119 engine program. Next week, the company will hold a ceremony in Middletown when the company delivers is final F-119 engine for the Air Force's F-22 Raptor.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Snow Will Make for a Messy Morning Commute


Winter weather advisories have been issued for most of Connecticut for tonight through tomorrow.
An area of low pressure will move up from the Deep South and slide south of us tonight and during the day Wednesday.

Snow will develop between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and last until midday on Wednesday.

Accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are possible throughout the interior of the state with 1 to 3 inches likely along the shoreline.

The snow will mix with sleet and rain along the shoreline on Wednesday morning, holding the accumulations down just a little.

How far the mix-line makes it north could impact accumulations totals up to the Interstate-84 corridor.

The snow and mixed precipitation will wind down by late morning, with some light flurries and drizzle lasting into the afternoon.

The biggest problem with this system will be the impact on the Wednesday morning commute, leading to dozens of school delays and cancellations.

Cold air will follow this system as we head toward the weekend.

Check here for school closings and delays.

You can sign up for alerts here.

Check the interactive radar here.

We want your snow photos and you can send them to us here.


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

50 Years of First Lady Inaugural Fashion

First Lady Michelle Obama during the Midatlantic Regional Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, January 20, 2009. Obama was sworn in as the 44th US president earlier in the day. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

FBI Arrests Dozens of Alleged Mobsters in Extortion Probe


More than two dozen alleged mobsters associated with three of New York's five organized crime families were rounded up by the FBI Wednesday morning in connection with an ongoing investigation into the carting industry, authorities said.

A total of 32 people were charged in 3 indictments unsealed today, including several members and associates of the Genovese, Gambino and Luchese crime families. They are accused of  racketeering, extortion and other crimes as part of organized crime’s alleged continuing effort to control segments of the commercial waste hauling industry in the New York City metropolitan area, prosecutors said.

Thirty defendants were arrested early today by the FBI and Westchester County Police Department and two others are expected to surrender this week.

According to the three indictments, the defendants allegedly operated a racketeering enterprise that exerted control over several legitimate waste disposal businesses and enforced “property rights” over trash pick-up routes that the hauling companies could use.  

They also allegedly extorted payments from the waste disposal companies in exchange for protection by individuals associated with organized crime.  By enforcing the “property rights” the defendants excluded competitors that might offer lower prices or better service.  

One of the waste hauling companies extorted by the defendants was owned by a person who cooperated with investigators, prosecutors said.

“The indictments show the ongoing threat posed by mob families and their criminal associates," FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos said.  "In addition to the violence that often accompanies their schemes, the economic impact amounts to a mob tax on goods and services." 

The suspects were expected to appear in federal court later Wednesday.


Photo Credit: AP Image

Saint Francis Plans to Join Catholic Health System


Saint Francis Care plans to join Ascension Health Care Network and the medical organizations have signed a letter of intent.

According to a news release from Saint Francis, Ascension Health Care Network is an affiliate of Ascension Health Alliance, the largest Catholic health system in the nation.

“We are very pleased that we and Ascension Health Care Network are pursuing the opportunity to join together,” Christopher Dadlez, president and chief executive officer, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, said. “This step follows a thorough examination of how best to ensure that the people we serve in our communities continue to receive a lifetime of the very best care possible.”

Saint Francis Care includes Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center, and the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research. 

Leo P. Brideau, president and CEO of Ascension Health Care Network, said the health network and St. Francis share a common goal of “providing high-quality, efficient care that responds to people’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs while aggressively advocating for the well-being of our patients and their families, and ensuring healthcare is available to those who are poor and vulnerable.  We believe this relationship has the potential to improve healthcare at both the state and regional level.”

The specific terms of the letter of intent have not been released.

Painting in White House Reminds Obama of Newtown Victim


Each moment President Barack Obama is in his private study in the White House, there is a reminder nearby of Grace McDonnell, a 7-year-old Newtown girl who hoped to one day grow up to be a painter.

Grace was killed on the morning of Friday, Dec. 14, along with 19 of her classmates and six staff members of Sandy Hook Elementary School, when a gunman went on a rampage through the school.

Two days after the shooting, President Obama traveled to Newtown to meet privately with the victims’ families and attend an interfaith ceremony.

During that trip, he met Grace’s family and learned about the little girl who hoped to one day be a painter living on Martha’s Vineyard, where she would spend time with her family each summer.

“Grace was 7 years old when she was struck down — this gorgeous, caring, joyful little girl,” Obama said on Wednesday during a news conference about gun control in the wake of the shooting.
“I’m told she loved pink, she loved the beach, she dreamed of becoming a painter,” Obama said.

Before the president left Newtown, Grace’s father, Chris, gave him one of Grace’s paintings.

“I hung it in my private study, just out of the Oval Office. And every time I look at that painting, I think about Grace, and I think about the life that she lived, and the life that lay ahead of her, and most of all, I think about how, when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now – for Grace, for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give,” Obama said.

While the president has a visual reminder of Grace, a fund has been set up in her memory.

If you would like to make a donation to the Grace McDonnell Memorial Fund at FCCF, you can mail it to Fairfield County Community Foundation, 383 Main Avenue, Norwalk CT 06851.


Passengers Treated After "Severe Turbulence" On Flight


Passengers aboard an American Eagle flight to Chicago were treated Wednesday for injuries sustained during the flight, officials said. The Chicago Fire Department confirmed several people aboard Flight 3720 were treated after "severe turbulence."

Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said the flight left from New Orleans just before 7:30 a.m. and landed safely at O'Hare International Airport at 9:30 a.m.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said head injuries were minor and two people declined hospitalization. One person was transported to a local hospital. The turbulence occurred on descent while the plane traveled from 31,000 to 29,000 feet.

American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan confirmed the flight hit turbulence en route to Chicago and said the fire department met the plane at O'Hare. She said 26 passengers and four crew members were on board.

The incident follows issues at the airline last fall because of a loose-seat problem that airline officials said was bigger than previously thought. According to flightstats.com, American had the most cancellations in September of all the airlines at O'Hare International Airports and 37 percent of the departures were delayed.

Newtown Superintendent Testifies Before Congress


Newtown School Superintendent Dr. Janet Robinson made a trip to Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

She testified before a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Robinson was one of four panelists joining Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, the chief of police from Chaska, Minnesota as well as the mother of a shooting victim.

Robinson gave powerful testimony recapping the events of December 14 when 20 first graders and 6 staff members were shot and killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary. She spoke of the heroism of the staff members.
"Their first response when confronted by this terror was to protect their students," Dr. Robinson said.
Some were wiping away tears as Dr. Robinson spoke. 
She help up a consolence card that was made by a student. She said hundreds are hanging inside Newtown's municipal center. She said the same 4-year-old girl sent Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi a letter. Dr. Robinson read it outloud.
"What everyone in Newtown wants is for you to ban semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines," the letter said.
The superintendent says she needs the help of lawmakers to make sure her kids are in a safe environment.
"What do I say to parents who want to be assured that when they put their kids on the bus, they'll come home?" she asked lawmakers.
Representative Elizabeth Esty introduced Dr. Robinson. Esty represents Newtown.
"This is about protecting our children," Rep. Esty said "That is a fundamental committment we should make as Americans."
Robinson's testimony comes on the same day President Obama unveiled his sweeping package on gun control reforms.
Asked by NBC Connecticut outside the hearing what she thought of the President's plan, she said, "I think it's very moving and very close to where our country wants to go."
"I have no issues with all with people's Second Ammendment rights," she added. "I will tell you, I have no locks, I have no areas I can put up to withstand an AR-15."
Representative Rosa DeLauro is a co-chair of the committee.
"To prevent another Sandy Hook we'll all have to work together to prevent gun violence," Rep. DeLauro said.
No pro-gun groups spoke at the hearing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

East Hartford Settles Claim By Estate of Teen Drowning Victim


The town of East Hartford has voted to settle a claim filed by the estate of a teen who drowned at East Hartford High School.

The East Hartford Board of Education voted unanimously to settle a claim with the estate of Marcum Asiamah for $1.5 million, according to the town council clerk’s office.

Marcum, a 15-year-old freshman, drowned during physical education class
on Jan. 11. Family members said Marcum did not know how to swim and these were apparently his first swim lessons.
Town officials said the town would play $500,000 and the town’s insurer would pay the rest.

Two high school students drown in school pools in Connecticut in 2012. In November, Malvrick Donkor drowned in the pool at Manchester High School.

State Rep. Steven Dargan proposed legislation to establish school pool safety guidelines after the two fatalities.  On Jan. 9, the legislation was referred to the joint committee on public safety and security.


Photo Credit: Facebook

Groundbreaking for Jackson Labs This Week


A year after the state approved $291 million in funding for Jackson Laboratory, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held.

The Maine-based company is planning to construct a massive bio-science facility on the UConn Health Center campus in Farmington and there will be a ground breaking on the campus on Jan. 17.

The project is supposed to bring in 300 jobs.

While the funding was approved, Republican lawmakers on the panel voted against the proposal.

"Our economic development investments ought to create a lot more jobs for a lot less money," Sen. Andrew Roraback said. "Whether he likes it or not, it's $986,000 per job created.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has said the state needs to invest to be able to compete with neighboring states.

"If we do not invest," Malloy said. "Then we're going to lose the opportunities that we have."

Masked Robbers Hit Cromwell Bank


A group of masked robbers burst into a Cromwell bank and robbed it Wednesday morning.

Police responded to the Citizens Bank at 61 Shunpike Road just before 10:30 a.m. According to police, 3 to 5 people wearing masks and dressed in black from head to toe entered the bank, jumped the counters and ordered the tellers to hand over money. No weapons were shown, according to authorities.

"We are just lucky we didn't have a patient walking in and out," said Kim Zajac, who works next door at Hartford Orthotics. She says foot traffic was slower than usual Wednesday morning because of the snow fall.  "It's scary you work right next door to the place," Zajac added.

The robbers left in a Nissan Altima that was reported stolen from New Britain Ave in Hartford. The car was recovered a short time later at the Cromwell Hills Condo Complex, police said.

"We didn't think anything of it. We thought it was just running at first," said George Vartanov. He and his father noticed the abandoned Nissan sitting along the side of the road. They saw money scattered nearby and called police.

"I didn't think it could happen here in Cromwell," Vartanov said.

No one was injured during the robbery.

Photo Credit: Cromwell Police

Pro-Gun Rally Planned for Hartford


As federal lawmakers focus on gun control, Guns Across America rallies are planned at state houses across the country on Saturday, including in Hartford.

Eric Reed, the national coordinator, is calling for a “peaceful picketing protest against any, and all future gun legislation,” according to a news release from local organizers,

The rallies will take place just days after President Barack Obama signed 26 executive actions and  unveiled strict and wide-ranging proposals to cut gun violence, including universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons.

After President Obama's news conference, Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, praised his plans.

"Today the President took the critical first step toward answering that question. The common sense measures he proposed today are something that we should all be able to agree on, and I want to commend him and the Vice President for their work on this issue," Malloy said in a statement.

The National Rifle Association also issued a news release.

"The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law.  We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset – our children," the statement says. "Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation.  Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy."

The local group planning the rallies appears to be made up of independent gun owners and around 6,500 people across the country are expected to attend, according to a news release.

A pro-2nd Amendment rally will be held at noon at the state Capitol and has warned people who attend not to carry guns on the property because it is a gun-free zone.

“Everyone must be compliant with the states concealed carry laws depending on where the rally is being held. We would hate to see people arrested for illegal possession of a firearm at a pro-gun rally. That would only defeat the purpose of going,” the group posted.


Photo Credit: NBC10 Philadelphia - Catherine Brown

Anne Frank's Stepsister Keeps Holocaust Story Alive


Eva Schloss calmly thrust out her forearm as if a routine gesture, revealing a row of tattooed numbers.

The 83-year-old Holocaust survivor fields plenty of requests to see them, as she travels the world telling of her time in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
“They ask me questions and ‘Can I give you a hug?” Schloss said this week, sitting in the lobby of a San Francisco hotel, where the London resident is on a  California speaking tour. “’I’ve never met a Jew, I’ve never met a Holocaust survivor.’ It’s quite amazing.”

If Schloss’ story was simply about a young Jewish girl surviving the hell of war, it would be eternally gripping. But there are so many more layers.

After moving with her family to Amsterdam as an 11-year old, Schloss came to know a neighbor girl who was so chatty she was nicknamed “quack quack.”  The girl’s name was Anne Frank.

“She was interested in her clothes, in her hairstyles, in boys,” Schloss recalled, emphasizing that she herself was a shy tomboy at the time.

Schloss, said the young Anne liked to have a crowd around, and was as outgoing as Schloss was reserved.  Schloss remembered another key detail about her neighbor.

“She wrote little stories already at that time,” Schloss said.  “But of course nobody expected she would become that known and write her diary.”

When the Nazis invaded Amsterdam, like the Franks, Schloss and her family were forced into hiding. She and her mother took refuge in a hidden annex in an apartment, while her father and brother hid elsewhere.
For two years, Schloss’ life played out in tiny rooms -- she described them as hiding places with even smaller hiding places within them.

“At night when the Gestapo came to search, which they did regularly,” she said, “we quickly went into this hiding place and hoped they would not find us.”

Schloss and her mother darted from hiding place to hiding place, seven in all. But their run came to an end when a nurse turned them in. She was briefly reunited with her father and brother for the train ride to Auschwitz, but never saw them again once the men and women were segregated.  The last thing her father told her, was to make sure to wash her hands to avoid disease.
“This was for my mother and me the hardest after the war to cope with,” Schloss said. "The loss of your family in this horrible way.”

After the Russians liberated the camp, Schloss’ life circled back in a strange trajectory. She and her mother returned to Amsterdam where her mother eventually married Anne Frank’s father, Otto, who had lost his own family in the death camps.  

Schloss described their 27-year marriage as a loving romance.       

“When he went on the bicycle to work and my mother went on the tram,” she said, “he always rode with the bicycle next to her.”

The discovery of Anne Frank’s diary weighed heavily on Otto Frank, Schloss recalled. He was torn about releasing the obviously personal details of his daughter’s emotion-laden writings, while realizing the historical significance.

In the end, Schloss said Otto Frank gently edited out some of his daughter’s more biting criticisms of some of the people sharing space in their hidden annex in Amsterdam. At the same time, she said he left in details about Anne’s troubled relationship with her mother.  Still, Otto Frank grappled with the publicity that would follow.

“The film was made and the play was made,” said Schloss.  “Otto never went to see either. He said ‘I couldn’t face to see my family portrayed on the screen.’” 

Schloss struggled to quell her own feelings about the brutal things she’d witnessed in the concentration camp. She eventually married and moved to London where she raised three children.

“I got married in ’52,” said. “But I never talked to my husband about it, nor to my children.”

But the decades served as a divine healer, and eventually the details, stories and recollections bubbled to the surface. Schloss,  has written two books about her experiences and now travels the country speaking. 

A pair of speaking engagements in the Bay Area quickly sold out. A talk scheduled for Wednesday night in the East Bay was moved to the much larger Kaiser Center in Oakland to accommodate the larger crowds.

Although she’s now 83, Schloss said she will continue speaking as long as she can, to educate young people about the Holocaust. She worries the years will dim peoples’ memories.

“You know there’s still a whole world,” she said. “A lot to teach and learn.”

Man Charged in Avon Home Invasion


Avon police have arrested a suspect in a home invasion on Jackson Road in December.

Michael Cyr, 21, was arrested on a warrant on Wednesday.

Two men who were dressed in black and wearing masks invaded the home just before 8 p.m. on Dec. 18, forced the three people inside to the ground at gunpoint and demanded money, police said.

Cyr was charged with home invasion, conspiracy to commit home invasion, robbery in the first degree, larceny in the fourth degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the fourth degree.

One injury was reported as a result of the home invasion.
One resident suffered a minor asthma attack, but did not need hospitalization.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Was the Last Assault Weapons Ban Effective?


As lawmakers in Washington, D.C. consider President Obama's proposal to institute a new assault weapons ban, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at the last one.

What was the 1994 assault weapons ban?
The law banned the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain semiautomatic assault weapons (otherwise known as simply “assault weapons” or “AWs”). The law applied to several named weapons, as well as any semiautomatic pistol or weapon that has “an ability to accept a detachable magazine” and at least two of five specific features listed in the law.

It also banned the transfer or possession of “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” (otherwise known as “large-capacity magazines” or “LCMs”).  These were defined as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar Device”…”that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition; but does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.’’

Officially known as Title XI of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the ban went into effect on Sept. 13, 1994.  It was repealed 10 years later.

Did the ban have any major limitations?
According to the 2004 National Institute of Justice Assessment of the ban, it had one big one:  Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines manufactured before the effective date of the ban were “grandfathered” and thus legal to possess and transfer. That’s a whole lot of firepower:

  • In 1990, there were an estimated 1 million privately owned assault weapons in the U.S. that would have been grandfathered.
  • Americans possessed an estimated 25 million guns equipped with large-capacity magazines in 1994, and gun industry sources estimated that -- including aftermarket items for repairing and extending magazines -- there were at least 25 million LCMs available in the U.S. as of 1995, with at least 4.7 million pre-ban LCMs imported into the U.S. during the ban.

Has anyone measured the ban’s effectiveness?
The Law Enforcement Act of 1994 required a study by the U.S. attorney general to determine the effects of the ban, to be conducted within 30 months after it was enacted. The National Institute of Justice awarded a grant to The Urban Institute for an evaluation, which was titled “Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994.” That evaluation was updated in 2004 by one of the original authors (findings below). Since the ban was allowed to lapse in 2004, there hasn’t been another comprehensive national study.

What was the criminal use of assault weapons before the ban?
According to the 2004 assessment mentioned above:

  • By most estimates, assault weapons were used in less than 6 percent of gun crimes before the ban (about 2 percent in most studies and up to 8 percent in others). The relatively small number can be attributed to the higher cost of AWs and the fact that longer AW’s are difficult to conceal. Most of the AWs used in crime were assault pistols rather than assault rifles.
  • Guns equipped with LCMs — of which AWs are a subset — were used in roughly 14 percent to 26 percent of most gun crimes. Although this range was based on a small number of studies, it is generally consistent with national survey estimates stating that approximately 18 percent of all civilian-owned guns and 21 percent of civilian-owned handguns were equipped with LCMs as of 1994.

What were the effects of the ban?

According to the official NIJ assessment:

  • The share of gun crimes involving AWs declined by 17 percent to 72 percent for the locations observed in this study (Baltimore, Miami, Milwaukee, Boston, St. Louis, and Anchorage) during all or some of the  1995-2003 post-ban period. This is consistent with patterns found in national data on guns recovered by police and reported to ATF.
  • However, in the jurisdictions studied, the decline in AW use was offset throughout at least the late 1990s by steady or rising use of other guns equipped with LCMs. The failure to reduce LCM use has likely been due to the immense stock that was in place prior to the ban as well as imports, the report found.
  • The few available studies do, however, suggest that attacks with AWs and other semiautomatics equipped with LCMs result in more shots fired, more people hit, and more wounds per victim than do attacks with other firearms.

What is the trend in crimes involving assault weapons since the ban’s expiration?
As explained above, there has been no comprehensive nationwide study done since 2004. However, the Police Executive Research Forum reported several findings in "Guns and Crime: Breaking New Ground by Focusing on the Local Impact" in 2010.  Since the ban’s expiration in 2004:

  • 37 percent of police agencies who responded to this survey reported that they’ve seen noticeable increases in the use of assault weapons by criminals.
  • 53 percent reported seeing increases in large-caliber handguns, such as .40 caliber weapons.
  • 38 percent reported noticeable increases in criminals’ use of semiautomatic weapons with high-capacity magazines (holding 10 or more rounds).

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live