A rack of Daniel Defense ARs, modern sporting rifles. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
This week saw federal crime statistics released that showed a continued trend in the decline of violent crime while at the same time sales of AR-15s and similar rifles have grown
According to the latest annual statistics produced by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, violent crime declined 3.9 percent in 2018 when compared to the 2017 rate. This included a 12 percent drop in robbery offenses while murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses fell 6.2 percent. This is the second consecutive year of such decreases. Likewise, property crime decreased by 6.3 percent during the same time period.
Contrary to widespread sentiment in the media and from talking heads advocating gun control, rifles were used in only about 2 percent of homicides in 2018 (297 of 14,123), a figure dwarfed by more readily available knives, blunt objects hands, fists, feet, etc, which accounted for some 17 percent. Moreover, even that low figure for rifles was a 24 percent decline from the same data (390 of 15,195) noted in 2017.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation responded to the crime data from the Justice Department with some statistics of their own.
“Through 2016, there have been over 16 million modern sporting rifles in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Meanwhile, violent crime is declining,” noted NSSF. “The message is clear. Tragic criminal actions must be addressed. Banning certain types of firearms is not the answer.”
“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.” The figures follow a 10-year trend to reduced crime rates at the same time sales of modern sporting rifles have been on the rise. (Graph: NSSF)
Further, the trade group for the firearms industry points out that, from 1999 to 2017, fatal firearms accidents have declined by 41 percent according to figures from the CDC’s WISQARS Injury Database. During that same period, the group, with organizational partners and in conjunction with over 15,000 law enforcement agencies, has distributed 38 million firearm safety kits as part of Project ChildSafe.Guns.com