The FBI has released figures demonstrating that over the course of 15 years, NICS background checks for gun ownership have increased 82 per cent, while violent crime has dropped by 18 per cent.
In the 2014 version of Crime in the United States, the estimated number of reported violent crimes dropped 0.2 per cent and the estimated number of property crimes decreased 4.3 per cent compared with 2013 statistics. Homicides committed with firearms in 2014 are down 3.9 per cent on a year-to-year basis, contesting the view that gun ownership creates, rather than eliminates, violent crime. While handguns were consistently the weapon of choice, rifles accounted for a mere 3 per cent of murders in 2014, lower than murders committed with knives, blunt objects, and brute human force.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation,
“While the one-year numbers may not look that dramatic, they are nonetheless important because they serve to illustrate the long-term, 20-year downward trend in crime in the United States is continuing.
Using NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data over a ten-year period since 2005, the best proxy we have for firearms sales, we see a 74.1 percent increase in background checks even as the violent crime fell 16.2 percent. The 15-year trend is even more dramatic, showing an 81.8 percent increase in NICS numbers even as violent crime fell 18.2 percent.
Put simply, more firearms in the hands of the mostly law-abiding American population have not yielded an increase in crime.”
The figures come as the White House prepares additional gun control measures in wake of the Umpqua College shooting, which left nine people dead.