During a state of the industry presentation at the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, National Shooting Sports Foundation president Steven Sanetti said background checks for retail gun sales “are up 104 percent since 1994,” yet “violent crimes are at their lowest numbers since 1978.”
Moreover, he said “murders are at their lowest rate since 1968.”
Using the last decade as a microcosm, Sanetti said that as firearm sales “greatly increased…during the last ten years homicides involving firearms…[fell] 46 percent” and “fatal firearm accidents are down 22 percent.”
He then offered this astounding fact: “Fatal firearm accidents…are now less than one percent of all fatal accidents nationwide.” Fatal firearm accidents account for approximately 0.5% of all fatal accidents nationwide.
These facts, coupled with continued strong gun sales, enabled Sanetti to say the gun industry is by no means running from the gun control lobby, “closed-minded legislators [and] sensationalist media.” In fact, he suggested they are in the midst of a charge, not “a retreat.”
Sanetti said: “There are now over 40 million hunters and target shooters and over 100 million firearms owners.” And among new firearm purchases, “the bulk of first-time owners” are female shooters, a booming demographic.
So with gun ownership is up, crime down, and the low number of accidental gun deaths serving as an indicator for how safety-conscious gun owners have become, Sanetti said:
None of the false accusations, nor the slander, nor the understandable but misguided emotional outbursts wrongly directed at us instead of those personally responsible for heinous crimes, will deter us from the lawful, responsible, and safe pursuits of our vocations, or law-abiding Americans’ pursuit of happiness with families and friends.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.