In 1996, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote a piece titled “Disarm the Citizenry, But Not Yet” in which he stated that:

In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea … Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically. It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today. Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic — purely symbolic — move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.

Even the Department of Justice acknowledged the fact that the so-called ‘Assault Weapons’ ban was ineffective as a tool to fight crime. In a study titled “Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003,” the DOJ found that:

Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. AWs were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.