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Crime

Russia has fewer guns, more homicides than the U.S.

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at the Ala-Archa state residence in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Sept. 13, 2013. (Getty Images)

If the number of firearms in society is directly correlated to the number of gun deaths each year as gun control advocates would like us to believe, how do you explain this?

According to Gunpolicy.org, Russians have far fewer guns than Americans — and far more homicides.

There are fewer than 13 million firearms in circulation in Russia, compared with an estimated 300 million in the United States. That works out to about 9 guns per 100 people in Russia and closed to 100 guns per 100 people in America.

The most recent homicide statistics for Russia show that there were 21,603 killings in 2009.

According to the FBI, the United States had 13,636 homicides in 2009 with a population that is more than twice as large. More than 80 percent of those killings were gun-related.

And oddly enough, Russia's gun laws look a lot like those being proposed in the U.S. these days...

Russia has tough gun laws on the books. It's illegal for Russian citizens to own automatic and semi-automatic guns. It's possible to apply for a handgun or shotgun license, though citizens are required to provide reasons such as hunting or target shooting.

Applicants face strict background checks, including criminal history, a full psychological evaluation and a medical exam. They must pass a test on firearm laws and safety.

Each weapon is then registered by the police during a home visit. Police take bullet patterns, test bullets and cartridges so bullets can be matched if the gun is used in a crime. A license lasts five years, after which applicants must go through the whole process again.

In spite of these laws, the country does have periodic mass shootings by people thought to be mentally ill.

One last thing…
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