As gun sales soared in 2013–with the number of background checks for gun sales breaking records–the FBI reports that violent crime fell sharply below 2012 figures, and property crime rates fell sharply too.
There were 21,093,273 background checks for firearm purchasers conducted in America in 2013. And while this number of background checks represented a record, we explained then that the number of guns sold could be many times higher. That is because background checks are done on gun purchasers, not on the number of guns being purchased.
For instance, if everyone who went through a background check then purchased three guns, the number of guns sold in the retail market alone would have been 63,279,819. That’s not even counting the number sold privately.
And what happened as all these guns came into private hands? Violent crime and property crime fell.
According to an FBI report released on November 10: “violent crimes in 2013 decreased 4.4 percent when compared with 2012 figures, and the estimated number of property crimes decreased 4.1 percent [as well].”
These record gun sales and the subsequent reduction in crime square perfectly with a Congressional Research Service report. That study showed that the number of privately owned firearms in America increased from 192 million in 1994 to 310 million in 2009. At the same time, “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” fell from 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000.
The bottom line: more guns equals less crime.