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Via Washington Secrets:

Despite their overwhelming popularity, assault weapons like the rifle used by the Sandy Hook Elementary killer are very rarely used in crimes, according to a comprehensive Congressional Research Service report on guns and gun control legislation.

Citing a survey of 203,300 state and federal prisoners who were armed during the crime for which they were incarcerated, “fewer than 1 in 50, or less than 2 percent, used, carried, or possessed a semiautomatic assault weapon,” said the report.

The weapons, however, are at the center of President Obama’s bid to put in place new gun control rules following the Connecticut killings last week. His effort, backed by gun-control Democrats, is expected to lead to a new proposal to ban the weapons and also crack down on gun sales throughout the nation.

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