Fact Check: Biden, Democrats Claim Crime Is Down Based on FBI Report Lacking Data from Thousands of Police Precincts

President Joe Biden speaks to Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund's "Gun Sense
Mark Schiefelbein/AP

CLAIM: President Biden and his fellow Democrats claim crime is down based on an FBI report.

VERDICT: False. Biden and his fellow Democrats do not mention that thousands of police precincts are not reporting crime data to the FBI.

On June 11, 2024, Biden told an Everytown for Gun Safety gun control gathering:

You know, the year before I came to the presidency, the murder rate was the highest increase on record. Last year, we saw the largest decrease of murder in the history of (inaudible). (Applause.) And those rates are continuing to fall faster than ever. Last year, we also saw one of the lowest rates of all violent crime in nearly 50 years. Murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery all dropped sharply, along with burglary and property crime.

He did not mention that 2021 and 2022 witnessed a decline in crime reports from police precincts around the country.

The Marshall Project explained that that in 2020, “almost every law enforcement agency was included in the FBI’s database.” However, in 2021, the FBI went to a new system for compiling data and would only accept police precinct reports through the new system.

The result? “Thousands of police agencies fell through the cracks because they didn’t catch up with the changes on time.” Thus, in 2022 there were far fewer police precincts turning in crime data; the Marshall Project reported in 2023 that “more than 6,000 law enforcement agencies were missing from the FBI’s national crime data last year, representing nearly one-third of the nation’s 18,000 police agencies.”

At some point in 2023 the FBI pivoted, announcing that it would accept crime data via the old reporting system once more. But the Marshall Project says it remains to be seen how many of the over 6,000 outstanding police precincts will begin or have begun reporting again.

One thing that the Marshall Project noted as certain: NYPD and LAPD are still not reporting crime data to the FBI.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio, a member of Gun Owners of America, and the director of global marketing for Lone Star Hunts. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010 and has a Ph.D. in Military History. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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