Even as some of the nation's police chiefs are pressing President Bush to renew the hated Clinton gun ban this week, Gun Owners of America challenged the police chiefs to poll the rank-and-file officers to get the "real" police view.

"Real cops, the ones who walk the 'beat,' oppose banning semi-automatic firearms," said Erich Pratt, Director of Communications for GOA. "Over 90% of the officers polled by the National Association of Chiefs of Police in 1995 said the semi-auto ban will in no way stop criminals from getting these guns or magazines.

"And in an earlier survey, almost 90% of cops said that private citizens should have these types of guns to help defend the nation in the event of natural disasters or terrorism when the National Guard has been mobilized."

The truth is that the 1994 gun ban signed by President Bill Clinton has NOT worked to reduce crime, Pratt said.

The National Institute of Justice was forced to admit the obvious in August, when a spokesman for the institute stated, "We cannot clearly credit the [semi-auto] ban with any of the nation's recent drop in gun violence."

This study reflects the results of two studies that were conducted during the Clinton administration. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found in 1993 and 1997 that military-styled firearms -- the so-called "assault weapons" banned in 1994 -- were used in less than two percent of crimes nationwide.

"In other words, these guns were never 'weapons of choice' for criminals, either before or after the ban," Pratt said.

"Now that the Clinton ban has expired, we should start working to sunset all the other laws that disarm decent Americans. It will be a beautiful sunset."

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