Congressional Study: Murder Rate Plummets as Gun Ownership Soars

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shows that while gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009, crime fell—and fell sharply.

According to the report, the "firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide" rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993. Following the exponential growth in the number of guns, that rate fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000.

This rate rose from 2004 to 2005 and got as high as 3.9 in 2006 and 2007, but it then resumed falling in 2008, the year the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that individual firearm possession is Constitutionally protected—particularly for self-defense. This figure fell to 3.2 per 100,000 by 2011.

In other words, as the number of firearms almost doubled over a nearly 20-year period, the "firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide" rate was more than halved.

Additionally, the overall murder rate dropped from 9.0 per 100,000 in 1994 to 4.7 in 2011. The overall number of estimated murder victims fell from 23,326 in 1994 to 14,612 in 2011. For estimated firearms-related murder victims, those numbers are 16,333 in 1994 and 9,903 in 2011.

The firearm category that led the way from 1994 through 2009 was handguns. And these were "mostly pistols, revolvers, and derringers," the most concealable types of guns. 

So after after all the pro-gun control grandstanding and the relentless focus on how the so-called easy availability of guns drives up crime, the CRS report shows that more guns—especially more concealable guns—has actually correlated with less crime. 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.


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