Guns and Gear

Semi-Automatic Rifle Ownership Has Increased And Violent Crime Has Decreased

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Guns and Gear Contributor

By Elizabeth McGuigan

The FBI has released its crime data for 2018 and the news is good. Violent crime dropped 3.3 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. According to the report, a decrease was seen across nearly every type of violent crime.

Looking at a 10-year trend, the numbers of violent crimes were down a full 9 percent from 2009 through 2018. The rate shows a more dramatic drop: “There were an estimated 368.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2018, a rate that fell 3.9 percent when compared with the 2017 estimated violent crime rate and dropped 14.6 percent from the 2009 estimate.”

Homicides with firearms were down 7 percent from 2017. And in stark contrast to the theatrics of last week’s House Judiciary Committee on banning modern sporting rifles, rifles were again only used in 2 percent of homicides, far less than the share committed with knives (11 percent) or hands and feet (5 percent).

MSR Ownership Up. Crime Down

This chart says it all. Through 2016, there have been over 16 million modern sporting rifles in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Meanwhile, violent crime is declining. The message is clear. Tragic criminal actions must be addressed. Banning certain types of firearms is not the answer.

 

 

Elizabeth McGuigan is the Director of Legislative & Policy Research for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.