Gun Facts: Did You Know?


The crime rate in London is now higher than the crime rate in New York. Crimes with firearms have risen dramatically since the ban on handgun ownership was passed by Parliament.

People who carry firearms as provided for by state right-to-carry laws are statistically more law-abiding than the public as a whole.
In 1986, nine states had right-to-carry laws. As of 1998, 31 states have right-to-carry laws and about half the U.S. population lives in these states.

Right-to-carry states have lower violent crime rates, on average—24% lower total violent crime, 22% lower homicide, 37% lower robbery, and 20% lower aggravated assault—compared to other states and D.C.

Two of every three defensive uses of firearms are carried out with handguns. Private citizens benefit from handguns for the same reason that the police do: handguns are easy to carry and they are effective defensive tools.

Virtually all scholars who have studied the issue have concluded that the Framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights considered the right to arms to be an individual right.

In Haynes v U.S. (1968), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that felons do not have to register illegally possessed guns, because the Fifth Amendment protects them against self-incrimination.

Without gun registration and gun owner licensing, the nation's violent crime rate has decreased every year since 1991 and is now at a 27-year low. Also, deaths due to firearm accidents have been decreasing substantially without gun registration and gun owner licensing, while those due to motor vehicle accidents have not decreased, despite vehicle registration and driver licensing.

Data released by the FBI on showed that in 2005, the nation’s total violent crime rate was 38% lower than in 1991, when violent crime hit an all-time high. Rates of the individual categories of violent crime were also much lower in 2005 than in 1991. Murder was 43% lower, rape 25% lower, robbery 48% lower, and aggravated assault 33% lower. The FBI’s report came on the heels of a Bureau of Justice Statistics crime survey that found that violent crime was lower in 2005 than anytime in the survey’s 32-year history.

Defying the anti-gunners’ claim that more guns means more crime, from 1991-2005 the number of privately owned guns increased by more than 70 million and violent crime dropped by 38%.

Florida adopted a right-to-carry law in 1987. At the time the law was passed, critics predicted increases in violence. The founder of the National Organization of Women, Betty Friedan stated: "lethal violence, even in self defense, only engenders more violence."  When the law went into effect, the Dade County Police began a program to record all arrest and non arrest incidents involving concealed carry licensees. Between September of 1987 and August of 1992, Dade County recorded 4 crimes committed by licensees with firearms. None of these crimes resulted in an injury. The record keeping program was abandoned in 1992 because there were not enough incidents to justify tracking them.  During that time the following changes occurred.

homicide rate


firearm homicide rate


handgun homicide rate



As usual, Washington, D.C., which leads the nation in anti-gun laws, led the nation in murder, with a rate six times higher than the rest of the country. Neighboring Maryland, where gun control advocates have been particularly active, once again had the highest robbery rate among the states, but also tied for the unenviable distinction of “first place” in murder among the states. However, despite Maryland’s high crime counts, Cease Fire Maryland, the local Brady Campaign affiliate that recently released a paper demanding an “assault weapon” ban, was unable to point to any crimes in the state involving such a gun.

The FBI’s report must have displeased New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (R). Despite the mayor’s recent posturing on the gun issue, and his self-laudatory comments about fighting crime, the Big Apple’s murder rate is more than double that of the rest of the state. Similarly, in Philadelphia, where anti-gun politicians are calling for a statewide one-gun-a-month law, the murder rate was more than seven times higher than the rest of Pennsylvania.

Wisconsin had the greatest total violent crime rate increase (15.1%) between 2004-2005. Murder was up 25.2%; robbery up 11.2%; and aggravated assault up 20.2%. Wisconsin is one of only two states that prohibits Right-to-Carry entirely.

In 2005, Florida recorded a murder rate 13% lower than the rate for the rest of the country (4.96 per 100,000, vs. 5.67 for the rest of the country). For the record, Florida’s 2005 murder rate was 58% lower than it was in 1986, the last year before the state’s landmark Right-to-Carry law took effect.

In a December 1993 Gallup survey, 49% of U.S. households reported owning a gun, and 31% of adults reported personally owning one. These figures indicate that there are 47.6 million households with a gun, with perhaps 93 million, or 49% of the adult U.S. population living in households with guns, and about 59.1 million adults personally owning a gun.

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."  --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787.


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