Assault Weapons Ban

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photoTime is ticking on the 10-year-old federal assault weapons ban. The law is due to expire a month from today, and it looks as if there is little political will to get it extended. President Bush has said repeatedly that he'd like to renew it, but he hasn't asked lawmakers to vote on it.

Many people on all sides of the gun control debate say the ban has few teeth: gun makers almost immediately came out with copycat versions of the banned weapons. But gun control advocates and police associations say gun violence is down, and are pushing to get the ban extended and strengthened. Opponents say banning weapons isn't the answer to reducing criminal gun violence. But which arguments will matter when it comes to legislation?

Tune in for a close look at the ban and the politics behind it.


Wes Allison, Washington reporter for the St. Petersburg Times

Gary Kleck, professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University and author of several books including, most recently, "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America"

John Lott Jr., scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Gun Control Laws"

Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY

Daniel Vice, staff attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

This program aired on August 13, 2004.


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