Gun violence in America has declined over the last 20 years

Over the last 20 years, the firearm crime rate has dropped, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 6 victims per 1,000 residents in 1994 to 1.4 victims per 1,000 residents in 2009. The 1.4/1000 is the same rate as in 2004, the last year in which the “assault weapons” ban was in place. Part of this is from an overall decline in violent crime over the same period, but that doesn’t account for all of the improvement. Firearm crimes accounted for 11% of all violent crime in 1993 and 1994, but was 8% of all such crime in 2009.

This decline took place in an era where gun sales increased and carry permit laws were liberalized. It may assume too much to claim that that increased gun ownership and carrying caused the decline, but it’s clear that the correlation runs in that direction and not the opposite.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • cylde

    The graph actually understates the decline because it shows the totals rather than the per capita numbers. The population has increased over the years so the incidents per thousand people are even lower.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      That’s a good point.

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