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Are Rising Gun Sales Responsible for Declining Crime?

"Guns sales have been up significantly over the past 9 years."

A few weeks ago, The Blaze ran two stories that focused on the national decline in violent crime.

It was pointed out that, for years, experts have maintained that crime rates increase with rising unemployment and poverty rates. Yet, data released earlier this year from the FBI show a marked decrease in the national violent crime rate between 2005 and 2010, even as unemployment and poverty have continued to rise.

Nationwide, the crime rate has declined 13.9 percent from 469 incidents per 100,000 individuals in 2005 to 403.6 in 2010. In fact, 2010 was the fourth year in a row crime has declined in the U.S.

If poverty and unemployment cannot explain the dramatic drops in crime rates, what can? Research found that what accounted for those declining incidences of assault, murder and robbery were local projects, improvements in law enforcement, and urban development — usually, a combination of these.

But there may be another reason: guns.

"Guns sales have been up significantly over the past 9 years," said "Field and Stream” Editorial Director Anthony Licata.

As gun sales have been up, violent crime has decreased nationwide by 13.9 percent. Is there a correlation?

"U.S. handgun production has tripled in those nine years . . . and firearm productions up over 2 million units in those years--increase--and violent crimes are down 13 percent. So, clearly putting more handguns into the hands of more Americans isn't causing more crime," the Fox Business host concluded.

"That's right," Licata agreed. "And you're seeing this reflected in the broader culture. 'Field and Stream' and 'Outdoor Life,' our newsstand sales are bucking the trend, up while other magazines are down . . . it's becoming more and more accepted."

See “Field and Stream” Editorial Director Anthony Licata discuss the increase in gun sales on Fox Business:

Of course, it was also pointed out on The Blaze that there are some cities where the crime rates continue to climb (despite the national trend).

However, some of the common factors in these cities are the spread of regional gangs, changes in law enforcement tactics, and funding issues. Therefore, it might be more accurate to attribute the rise in crime to poor policy. Fix the policies, fix the issue.

One last thing…
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