Huge spike in firearm sales results in … less crime

It’s certainly not what the Brady Campaign would proclaim, but the big increase in firearm sales between the summers of 2008 and 2009 does not seem to have increased the crime rate in the United States … especially since the violent crime rate dropped 4.4 percent during the first half of 2009.

I’m not going to proclaim the increased ownership of firearms by those legally able to do so resulted in the overall reduction in crime, but can we now put to bed the anti-gun advocate’s claim that more firearms “on the street” will obviously result in more crime?

Their position is pure crap, and is completely based on emotion and zero facts. From Reuters on Dec. 21.

Violent crime in the United States, including murder and robbery, dropped 4.4 percent in the first half of 2009 and property crime like car thefts also dropped, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday.

The latest statistics suggest that U.S. violent crime could drop for a third full year in a row, a steady decline despite the harsh economic recession that some policymakers and police groups had feared would lead to an upward spike.

The number of murders plummeted 10 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2008, while robbery fell 6.5 percent and forcible rape dropped 3.3 percent, according to preliminary statistics released by the FBI.

Violent crime in all of 2008 fell 1.9 percent from 2007.

There were cities in the country which experienced more violent crime during the first six months of 2009, but the FBI’s preliminary report – released on Dec. 21 – has an overview table showing violent crime in cities with populations more than one million was down 7 percent, and cities with population counts between 500,000 and one million down 6.1 percent.

So what happened to firearm purchases leading up to and through the first half of 2006? Although difficult to track, anyone who went looking to purchase ammunition, a self-defense rifle (known as assault rifle by the anti-gun nuts) or take a firearms safety class leading up to and after the presidential election knows demand exceeded supply. Within the last three months there has been movement toward normal operations in the industry, but man, it was crazy for quite some time.

President Obama – for what’s it worth – was the number one firearms salesperson in the United States for a good year … and he didn’t get a dime of commission. From American Thinker on Dec. 30.

The gun-buying started shortly before, and then took off after, Obama’s election. The Toronto Star reported a 15% increase of 108,000 more FBI background checks in October 2008 than during the same month in 2007. People were already anticipating the dire consequences of an Obama victory. Then, in November 2008, the number of FBI background checks on applicants buying guns spiked 42% from the previous year. The FBI performed 12.7 million background checks in 2008, compared to 11.2 million in 2007, a 13% increase.

More evidence of rampant gun-buying loads up in the states. Through June 2009, the Texas Department of Public Safety received a monthly average of 12,700 applications for concealed handgun licenses, up 46% from the average in 2007. Even the New York Times noted how gun sales were up in 2009; in a June story, it focused on its less sophisticated neighbors in New Jersey. Even in liberal Massachusetts, gun permits surged 15% over the last two years (after falling several years before that).

A firearm for protection is your last resort when it comes to protection in the home and on the street. Ensure you take the time to put together a home-defense plan including common sense (lock doors and windows), exterior lights, alarm systems and an alert dog if you can swing it. Going to the firing range twice a year to shoot straight at a brightly lit target is not enough.

Got questions? Visit with your local NRA instructor and post your questions below so others can learn. If we can’t answer a question for you – we’ll direct you to a place to learn more.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.

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