Fact Check: Joe Biden said mass shootings decreased during the 1990s assault rifle ban…is he lying again?

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U.S. President Joe Biden is once again coming for America’s guns and he’s citing his 1994 federal ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines which lasted until it expired and was not renewed in 2004.

“There’s no reason someone needs a weapon of war with 100 rounds, 100 bullets, that can be fired from that weapon. Nobody needs that, nobody needs that,” Biden said. “For the 10 years we had it done, the number of mass shootings actually went down. Even law enforcement officials have told me and told other champions of this legislation they sometimes feel outgunned by assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”

Fact-checking Biden’s claim

During that time, Biden now claims the U.S. saw a decrease in mass shootings, but is he telling the truth?


One of the most notorious and brutal mass shootings on record in America took place just 5 years into the Biden assault weapon ban of the 1990’s, Columbine High School. 15 students were killed and 21 others were shot that day.

In the years prior to the 1994 ban, the US averaged beteween 3 and 5 mass shootings per years.

There were 37 mass shootings in America in the 10 years prior to the ban. There were 38 mass shootings during the 10 years of the ban. In the 10 years after the ban, massing shootings have increased significantly to 51.

Fact Check: False it did not reduce mass killings

Joe Biden was wrong when he said the assault weapon and high capacity magazine ban was in effect. Mass shootings technically increased by one when comparing the 10 year periods before and after. The amount of mass shootings was not impacted by the ban.

Mass shootings during Biden’s assault rifle ban

The ban went into effect in September of 1994. Two months later, Keith Ledger walked into the Wickliffe Middle School in Ohio and shot faculty members.

In 1995, there were two more school shootings and 8 people were killed at Freddy’s Fashion Mart in New York City that December.

1996 saw the Frontier Middle School shooting and the San Diego State University Shooting.

There were three more school shootings in 1997, plus the Empire State Building shooting and Coy Westbrook’s rampage that killed 5.

One of the deadliest periods of mass shootings in American history happened during the ban. 1998 through 2000 were exceptionally deadly.

Six mass shootings occurred in 1998 including a three school shootings and a shooting at the U.S. Capitol.

Columbine and 7 other mass shootings occurred in 1999.

2000 was the year of the mass murder when 4 high profile mass murders killed nearly two dozen people.

In 2001, there were two high school mass shootings and the Nevada county shootings.

2002 saw the DC beltway sniper attacks, a law school shooting and the L.A. airport mass shooting.

There were 5 high profile shootings in 2003 including Case Western Reserve University, Lockeed Martin and two high school shootings.

In 2005, there was three mass shootings, including the deadly Columbus nightclub shooting.

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