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.
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.