January 2nd, 2010

Violent Crime Declines While Gun Ownership Rises

Preliminary statistics released by the FBI for the first half of 2009 show that violent crime continues a downward trend that began in 2006. The figures show crime falling in all categories — robbery, aggravated assault, motor vehicle thefts, etc. — with murders down a remarkable 10 percent from the previous year.

The FBI statistics undermine a favorite argument of anti-gun groups and some mainstream media that “more guns equal more crime,” especially when you consider that the decrease in violent crime from late 2008 through the first half of 2009 occurred at the same time that firearm sales were surging.

The most popular firearms selling at that time were handguns and modern sporting rifles (AR-style rifles)–two types of firearms that anti-gunners never miss an opportunity to demonize. Law-abiding handgun owners have been filling concealed carry classes across the country, and AR-style rifles–long a favorite of target shooters–are growing in popularity among hunters as new calibers are introduced for small and big game.

People across the country continue to exercise their Second Amendment rights. National Instant Criminal Background Check statistics showing an increase of 25 million background checks from a total of 75 million to 100 million initiated by Type 01 FFLs between April 5, 2007, and April 4, 2009 . (Background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing either newly manufactured or used firearms from federally licensed retailers. The checks serve as a gauge of sales but do not reflect the actual number of firearms sold.) So … Crime is down. Gun ownership — by law-abiding, responsible citizens who pass a mandatory FBI background check at retail — is up. Don’t let anyone tell you that “more guns equal more crime.”

EDITOR’s NOTE: To understand how firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens can deter crime, we recommend you read Professor John Lott’s important book: More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws

This report courtesy Nat’l Shooting Sports Foundation Blog, Blog.nssf.org.

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