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Gun Ownership at All-Time High, Violent Crime Near 30-Year Low

Crime & Criminal Justice
More Guns, Less Crime (Again) in 2007

Gun Ownership at All-Time High, Violent Crime Near 30-Year Low

Over the last two decades, many "gun control" laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive at the federal, state, and local levels. Numbers of privately-owned guns and Right-to-Carry states have risen to all-time highs. Every step of the way, "gun control" groups predicted violent crime would increase. Instead, violent crime decreased dramatically.

Less "Gun Control": The Brady Act’s handgun waiting period expired in 1998, in favor of the NRA-supported National Instant Check System. Some states thereafter eliminated waiting periods or purchase permit requirements. The federal "assault weapon" ban expired in 2004. Since 1987, 30 states have eliminated prohibitory or restrictive carry laws, in favor of Right-to-Carry (RTC) laws; there are now 40 RTC states. All states have hunter protection laws, 46 have range protection laws, 47 prohibit local jurisdictions from imposing gun laws more restrictive than state law, 44 protect the right to arms in their constitutions, and Congress and 33 states have prohibited frivolous lawsuits against the firearm industry.1 Studies by or for Congress, the Congressional Research Service, the Library of Congress, the National Institute of Justice, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found no evidence that "gun control" reduces crime.2

More Guns: The number of new guns rises by about 4.5 million every year.3 There are 250+ million privately-owned firearms in the United States.4

Less Violent Crime: Since 1991, the nation’s total violent crime rate is down 38 percent. (Murder is down 43 percent; rape, 29 percent; robbery, 46 percent; and aggravated assault, 35 percent.) Violent crime dropped every year from 1991-2004, to a 30-year low; increased slightly in 2005 and 2006; and decreased to nearly the 2004 level in 2007. Every year since 2002, the violent crime rate has been lower than anytime since 1974. Every year since 1999, the murder rate has been lower than anytime since 1966. States with RTC laws, compared to the rest of the country, have lower violent crime rates on average: total violent crime by 24 percent, murder, 28 percent; robbery, 50 percent; and aggravated assault, 11 percent.5

Notes:

1. For fact sheets and gun law information, visit www.nraila.org/Issues/.
2. Roth, Koper, et al., Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994, March 13, 1997, www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=406797; Reedy and Koper, "Impact of handgun types on gun assault outcomes: a comparison of gun assaults involving semiautomatic pistols and revolvers," Injury Prevention 2003, http://ip.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/9/2/151; Koper et al., Report to the National Institute of Justice, An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003, June 2004, www.sas.upenn.edu/jerrylee/jlc-new/Research/Koper_aw_final.pdf; Wm. J. Krouse, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, "Semiautomatic Assault Weapons Ban," Dec. 16, 2004; Library of Congress, Report for Congress: Firearms Regulations in Various Foreign Countries, May 1998, LL98-3, 97-2010; Task Force on Community Preventive Service, "First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws," Morbidity and Mortaility Weekly Report, Oct. 3, 2003, www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5214a2.htm; National Research Council, "Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review," National Academies Press, 2005 , http://books.nap.edu/books/0309091241/html/index.html.

3. BATFE, Annual Firearm Manufacturers and Export Reports, www.atf.gov/firearms/stats/index.htm.

4. BATFE estimated 215 million guns in 1999 (Crime Gun Trace Reports, 1999, National Report, Nov. 2000, p. ix , www.atf.gov/firearms/ycgii/1999/index.htm). The National Academy of Sciences estimated 258 million (National Research Council, Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review, National Academies Press, 2005). The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports 72 million approved new and used firearm transactions by firearm dealers through the National Instant Check System between 1999-2007 ("Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2007," www.ojp.usdoj.gov./bjs/pub/html/bcft/2007/table/bcft07st01.ht...

5. FBI http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_04.html Bureau of Justice Statistics, http://bjsdata.ojp.usdoj.gov/dataonline/. RTC comparison based on data in the FBI table.


Posted: 9/23/2008 12:00:00 AM

A fwd article: by jt
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  • Chris - The Rowdy One! #187 2008/11/24 17:03:45
  • Sam Chris -... 2008/11/25 02:17:43
  • wolfwings9323 2008/11/24 08:50:10
    wolfwings9323
    Thank you so much for posting this; people need to realize that gun control only limits the ability of law abiding citizens to defend themselves and those around them. Criminals don't care about the laws; they either find an alternative means, or ignore the laws altogether. (More shootings occur in places where it is posted that no one may have a gun. The criminals don't care about the sign and bring their gun in anyway, while law abiding citizens, with carry permits, leave their guns in their vehicles, rendering them useless when they could have stopped the one person shooting many people; guns save lives in this respect...)
  • dtpga 2008/11/24 03:13:20
    dtpga
    Good post.
  • Dwight Mann 2008/11/24 00:10:39 (edited)
    Dwight Mann
    +2
    I think that the answer to gun violence is a firing squad. The only gun control that I approve of, is when the gun is in my hands. . .


    answer gun violence firing squad gun approve gun hands
  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2008/11/23 23:57:37
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    +1
    I've heard more stories recently about homeowners killing criminals. I certainly don't want to wait and see how long it takes the cops to get to my house if someone wants to harm me or my family. My revolver has a laser sight on it so if he sees that little red dot I hope he gets the message. I did get a CWP so I can carry it with me if I want.
  • Daryl 2008/11/23 23:51:19
  • MS 2008/11/23 22:01:11
    MS
    +1
    Watch me demonstarte gun control (yeah I'm in there)

  • kimmy "In God I Trust" 2008/11/23 21:20:58
    kimmy "In God I Trust"
    +4
    jt-once again..thanks for a great post. I totally agree with Laja on this issue, very well said. If it is illegal to own or carry guns, then it just makes it easier for the criminals to do their crimes. I honestly believe, if more citizens carried, there would be less crime.
  • sdahn 2008/11/23 20:12:09
    sdahn
    +2
    BTW I agree
  • sdahn 2008/11/23 20:11:47
    sdahn
    +2
    I would like to get a gun but I have this worry that Obama will go after all the people who ran to get guns...not sure what to do!
  • TexasLady sdahn 2008/11/23 21:40:24
    TexasLady
    +2
    Get your gun-get lots of ammo.They say in two years time ,any ammo will have to be coded and can be tracked back to the person who buys it.Safety in this day and age is having a firearm in your home to deter an idiot from harming you and/or your family.I hate that commercial ,where the fellow barracades himself and his wife in the bedroom ,when the intruded breaks a window! You just want to yell "what a wimp!!" If that was my husband I would fellow barracades wife bedroom intruded breaks window yell wimp husband be ashamed...
  • chastity_1111 2008/11/23 19:50:14
  • Laja 2008/11/23 19:09:49
    Laja
    +3
    It should be simple to follow the logic. In areas with very strict anti gun laws, (i.e. NYC, Philly, Newark, Chicago), the criminals know there is little likelyhood that an armed citizen will stop their crime.

    Criminals are the ones in society who defy the laws on the books now. There are laws prohibiting them from taking your property or assaulting you. If they are going to violate those laws, why would they obey a law prohibiting them from carrying a weapon while committing another crime?

    In areas with relaxed carry regulations the same criminal knows he/she is more likely to be stopped by an armed citizen. While this armed citizen may not be their intended victim, it may be another citizen nearby.

    About a year ago there was a criminal who was shooting people at a mall. This mall had a strict policy AGAINST carrying weapons inside. That is their right as a property owner. But what they did, in effect, was make unarmed targets out of the shoppers. A criminal walked in, armed, and started shooting. I wonder if this crime would have taken place if the mall did not prohibit shoppers from being armed. The criminal did not anticipate that one of the shoppers would be an off-duty Police Officer who was armed, and stopped the shooting spree.

    Then thereis Virginia Tech....''

    It should be simple to follow the logic. In areas with very strict anti gun laws, (i.e. NYC, Philly, Newark, Chicago), the criminals know there is little likelyhood that an armed citizen will stop their crime.

    Criminals are the ones in society who defy the laws on the books now. There are laws prohibiting them from taking your property or assaulting you. If they are going to violate those laws, why would they obey a law prohibiting them from carrying a weapon while committing another crime?

    In areas with relaxed carry regulations the same criminal knows he/she is more likely to be stopped by an armed citizen. While this armed citizen may not be their intended victim, it may be another citizen nearby.

    About a year ago there was a criminal who was shooting people at a mall. This mall had a strict policy AGAINST carrying weapons inside. That is their right as a property owner. But what they did, in effect, was make unarmed targets out of the shoppers. A criminal walked in, armed, and started shooting. I wonder if this crime would have taken place if the mall did not prohibit shoppers from being armed. The criminal did not anticipate that one of the shoppers would be an off-duty Police Officer who was armed, and stopped the shooting spree.

    Then thereis Virginia Tech. Another example of regulations prohibiting the carrying of weapons on campus. Enter an armed criminal. Who can stop him? Apparently the school's anti gun rules didn't

    The list goes on and on and on.
    (more)
  • wolfwin... Laja 2008/11/24 08:55:28
  • jt 2008/11/23 18:46:41

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2008/01/23 16:15:11

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