Gun Sales Up, Crime Rates Down?

National Shooting Sports Foundation infographic on gun sales versus crime

The facts are on our side! Not that politicians are always known for following the facts, nor are the anti gunners, but The Shooter’s Log has them compliments of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and now you do too.

National Shooting Sports Foundation infographic on gun sales versus crime
The facts are on your side. All you have to do is use them…

As the NSSF’s new infographic shows, violent crime continues its downward trend, even as the firearms market has seen more and more growth over the past two decades. Fortunately, we also see the number of firearm accidents dropping year after year. One thing is clear: punishing the law-abiding firearms owners in the U.S. and the federally regulated firearms and ammunition industry for the criminal acts of terrorists and madmen cannot be justified by data. These pictures are worth a 1,000 words.

  • Gun Crimes vs. Gun Sales
  • Homicide Rates
  • Firearm Crimes
  • Firearm Ownership
  • Unintentional Firearm Fatalities

Now that you are armed with these facts, how will you use them this election season? Share your activities in the comment section.


The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (17)

  1. Gotta love the whole BLM crap…they’re saying all this non sense how they want equality while saying “black lives matter.” Shouldn’t all loves matter? Not just blacks? And yes more whites are killed than blacks/Hispanics but that doesn’t seem to matter. This country is going down hill very quickly. All of
    You who were born in the 50s or before my hat goes off to you, you my friends got to see america. This day and age is ridiculous and to think I have a son of the age of 7 months..poor little guy. Good thing daddy is stashing an arsenal for him when it’s needed. At this rate it’s only a matter of time before a civil war outbreak. It’s only a matter of time before enough citizens get fed up with the lies and corruption were fed by or own government! Like stayed in history before, a civil war every 50 or so years would regulate society as bad as it sounds.
    And you anti gun people have no idea about anything. You don’t know the first thing about guns, and don’t want anyone to have them yet
    You’re the ones who would gladly hire an armed body guard…so for all you anti gun mongrels, understand this, when a criminal picks up his trust hot .45 and puts it
    To your head don’t cry for help. Us guys with our CCW’s won’t be able
    To carry and wot be able to stop you from being harmed. Also making a law criminalizing firearms only affect those who follow the law. Anyone who has an argument against that has dick for brains. There is no logical argument there. Just understand how stupid and nieve you are. Criminals are
    Criminals because they don’t follow
    Laws. So all you’re doing by taking our guns away is empowering the criminals. What a smart group of people you are. I think every anti gun person should be mandated to five years of hooked on phonics so they can pull their heads out of their ass and smell the coffee. Guns are needed. And it’s not even that, we have a right to bear arms that can’t be infringed on…so why is it being infringed on? I’m in New York and I can’t
    Go shoot my ar15 because it’s evil? The government calls a pistol grip an “evil” feature? They sound real educated. Because ya know it’s what the gun looks like that makes it dangerous. I’m done because this is a hopeless battle. I just hope the people who take guns away from us end up staring down the end of a barrel someday.

  2. One factor the ruling elites do not want to take credit for is that there was a corresponding reduction of crime with increased abortion rates and higher incarceration rates. Fewer criminals on the streets, fewer crimes. But that is being wiped out by the increase in criminal immigration. I frankly really don’t care as much as I used to. I just want to know I can protect myself and my family and not be criminalized for obtaining and possessing the means to do so. I am in the process of moving my official residence to Arizona from Commiefornia.

  3. Being a “Died in the Wool Constitutionlist” I try to seperate Crimes of violence committed by my Government officials from that of “civilian” crimes against their fellow Americans; tof talk of violent crimes while leaving out the death by suicide of 20+military veterans per day due to Un-Constitutional military, political and financial American leaders is one of greatest crimes against all that our nation is supposed to stand.
    The wavers of flag will not admit that today we are far from a Co stitutional Republic that the 2nd was supposed to protect, and i stead use it to protect their own lersonal egos.
    sorry sk harsh a statement but this Republic is long dead.

  4. #1 problem with all these statistics: context. Crime peaked in the early 90’s, and all the graphs START with this historic peak. Thus there is no representation of the historical norm prior to the historically high rates of violent crimes of the early 90’s. Just about any period of American history looks docile in comparison. So, by using the implied logic of these graphs, we were MUCH safer during the 40’s and 50’s when firearms sales were nearly non-existent, so we should ban firearms (by an extension of your logic that is)? The current homicide rate also glosses over the fact that the number of people shot have been increasing every year (according to the CDC). So it’s not that fewer people are being shot, it’s that more are surviving. This just makes sense: more guns = more people shot.

    Now, for the % of households w/ a gun, that number has actually been going down, slightly but steadily, since the 70’s. Before the 80’s the VAST majority of gun owners were hunters (SHOCKING, am I right!?). When hunting became less and less popular in the past 30 years the number of households with guns dwindled as the children didn’t take up the sport of their parents (father). The % of the population that keeps guns for ‘self defense’ has stayed roughly stagnant thus as hunters dropped off, and the make-up of gun owners turned to more ‘self defense’ users, the overall number of gun-owning households has diminished. Back in the 60’s-70’s it was 50%+. A 10% reduction in gun-owning households followed by a 43% reduction in the homicide rate. Even if you ignore the information from the CDC (on number of people shot) your own data (put into context) makes the opposite case for gun ownership, that we’re better off (lower crime) with fewer people owning guns.

    Using statistics is dangerous ground for making a case for gun ownership. When it comes to large numbers of people, being armed only leads to an increase in casualties. PEOPLE are irresponsible, emotional, animals. Though individuals within that population can be rational beings their actions get drowned out, statistically, in a sea of irrational actions. The BEST argument to make when it comes to gun ownership isn’t a statistical, but one of personal liberty. However, be prepared to pair that freedom with accountability. A right absent of accountability is tyranny.

    1. Tim, firearm sales were nearly non-existent for much of the 1900’s b/c there weren’t laws requiring stores to keep a record of the sales. A ton of guns were sold, but there just wasn’t a record. Some laws were introduced during the ’30’s (ban on full auto’s for example), but for the most part, a person could walk into a store, purchase a firearm, no questions asked. This changed over time of course, but private gun ownership was VERY high during the early 1900’s. Today’s private ownership is probably higher compared to then, but of course, we have a higher population as well. Plus, the pro-2A movement helps as well, haha.

      As for the CDC report….Hmmm…maybe I read a different CDC report? The one I read (the one Obama pushed for), the CDC essentially concluded that anti-gun laws did not have significant impact on deterring crime….which was shocking b/c the CDC is very anti-gun.

      One could bring up United Nation “reports” where their statistics show gun-laws bring more stability and less crime….but anyone with a decent understanding of the U.N. knows of their corruption of facts (I’m looking at you Kofi Annan and your son! I hope you enjoyed all those Mercedes’ and Lexus’, along with all those million dollar homes, you bought illegally!).

      My point is that statistics can be slanted at whatever way the source wants, which is what you’re saying too,lol….even good old fashioned lies work well (like how the ATF used the false ninety-some-odd percent of all guns in Mexico were bought from the U.S., that was proven to be entirely false, but the media touted the bull crap anyway.)

      The Second Amendment is for the people to be armed so their freedom cannot be taken away – regardless of that threat being foreign or domestic. It’s not about hunting or even defense against criminals, those are happy by-products of the right/freedom; it’s about keeping the corrupt politicians from imprisoning innocent people or worse.

      But anyhoo, you’re right about arguing from the standpoint of freedom. Rock on man! I wasn’t necessarily disagreeing with you, just throwing in my 2 cents! 😉

    2. Tim: Except crime, at least the homicide rates, were higher in the period 1972-1982 than in the following ten years.The stats are there for anyone who wants to look and one who does is likely to find that the early 90s weren’t the worst of all times.

      The 2014 homicide rate is virtually identical to the 1950 rate when, you assure us all, the percentage of households owning firearms was significantly higher than it is now.

      Of course the 43% figure is almost certainly wrong. It’s larger. There has always been some hesitancy to volunteer information on firearms, especially since 1968. That hesitancy is far greater today for the obvious reason that’s implicit in your words. That is, that the political force, if it’s able, will hold one group “accountable” for the criminal behavior of others. The 43% and declining is what you wish for but with some 140,000,000 firearms added over two decades a shrinking overall ownership percentage isn’t very likely.

      Over the last 25 years the Cali gun laws have become ever more restrictive while the Texas laws have actually been relaxed a bit. During this period the Texas homicide rate has been at or below the Cali rate. Now compare the homicide rate for El Paso, full of crazy Texans and guns, over any period with any city of it’s size in the US… any time period. Now try the city across a knee deep river, Juarez.

      No, this doesn’t “prove” anything but it does make your assertion that the presence of firearms undeniably serves as a catalyst for violence difficult to sell…unless one simply wants to believe it for there own reasons.

      The governments own stats on who is doing what to whom going back decades are available to anyone who wants to know. To say that they paint a stark picture of where the violence is concentrated is an understatement. The preceding sentence is about as likely to bring an ad hominem attack as anything I have ever said. Don’t disappoint me.


    3. your just stating your own anti gun opinion..statistics can and always will be manipulated!!!…One statistic everybody overlooks is alcohol related deaths..clearly 10 times higher than gun related deaths yet our masters on capitol hill could care less!!..same goes for tobacco..prescription drugs..ETC….AS LONG AS THE TAX REVENUE KEEPS FLOWING THEY DONT CARE…ALCOHOL HAS NO REAL USE IN SOCIETY…YET ITS EVERYWHERE…LEGALLY!!!..go after the real killers…

    4. Allow me to “Fuzz buster buster” this buster. Using statistics is dangerous and since you choose to go back to docile times in the USA, (I.e Americas golden age of the 40’s and 50’s)
      let us review. In the 40’s we were on a war footing and aftarwoods we were enjoying the american dream. At that time there was no social engineering, conversion of the courts to legislative bodies illegitimately, and subversive bolshevik infiltration of our society bent on disintegrating our ideals and empowering the few elites and their pet weakling, uncoordinated. degenerates. Then began the slow incremental chipping away at all our GOD given rights that were never questioned prior to these Bolshevik invasions from the first failed red revolution where they infiltrated hollywood and some of the media and later after WWII where they consolidated and completely controlled all media. Then began the conversion of our school systen from classical lessions to socialist pseudo science with the goal of eliminating all science and discrediting all legitimate sciences while worshipping nonsensical studies to give their retarded base a feeling of intellectual equality and a voice against all that is correct and good. Finally these forces were in a strong enough position to surreptitiously dismantle oursociety. It is they that stoked race wars and inequality and other issues and they who changed our immigration policy from taking in peoples who were checked for disease and who came to work, to open door policy of taking in all the lazy degenerates of the world along with our historical immigration of people with morals and pride. So now the former outnumber the later encouraged by a social welfare program that prefers the problem people from problemed countries kver our own citizens. Couple that with a illogical legislative and judicial system allowing all the social problems to occur and then pretendingto fix these problems with further and deeper limitations of our freedoms which we took for granted in the 40’s and 50’s. The generation of the 60’s stood by as our constitution was attacked whereas in the 40’that would never be put up with. Finally we see the need for the second amendment and the first amendment because we now have the conditions brewing which call for the people to limit the oppressive a d self serving elites in our government. Our founding fathers knew this and it is why the 1st amendment begins with the words “impeding the freedom of religion” and not what wordy socialist bookworms have redefined as freedom of speach to serve their own interests and talk about what they choose while all oppositionvoices are shut or criminalized. The 2nd amendment is the same story, it begins with in its original unabridged version “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”.
      So you see when responsible intelligent people see with their own eyes the need to exercise their GOD given rights in a society going down the tubes and every decade we eliminate another organized crime group or need for vaccination we immigrate a new group of people unvetted to take advantage of our system. Some people, not all, but if the FBI which is a bureau of the justice department, is going to take on illegitimate executive powers and focus almost entirely on lawful US citizens then maybe they can spare a few man/woman hours on a few of the illegal immigrants and some of the legal immigration applications of people who have no desire to assimilate or even agree with USA way of life. So now, in the 90’s there has been no greater need since the wild west days to protect ourselve fri. all theats foriegn and domestic which our leadership forgets they took an oath to defend as a condition of being in federal office! SHOCKING Thank you

    5. Tim – Can’t find the stats you are referring to on the CDC site, but this might be of interest:
      This is a link to a CDC form showing that gun homicides are the 107th leading cause of death, preceded by most diseases, auto accidents, falls, suicide, hospital mistakes, accidental poisonings, etc., etc., etc.

    6. Tim, you obviously haven’t been to a gun store or gun show in the last 8 years. The numbers of new gun owners buying guns is staggering. Every gun show I have been to, I count at least 50 people filling out background check forms EVERY HOUR that I was there. Let’s say half are new gun owners, and I noticed a strong increase in females buying guns, that would mean 200 per day of the gun show. And this is ONE gun show. At gun stores, people are sometimes 3 deep looking at the guns. So, I challenge your stat on the number of households with guns. At the gun range, everytime I go, there are almost half new shooters, and a steadily increasing number of female shooters. New gun owner numbers is on the increase. Females are buying guns in increasing numbers. At the same time, violent crime is on the downturn.

  5. Also the latest statistics of the CDC evidence that (a) Blacks are NOT killed by police at rates higher than Whites. Whites are killed by police more often than Hispanics or Blacks. That firearms have no bearing on suicide rates.

    Complaints by BLM are out of proportion to the facts. The reason it appears to be as they say is that when a cop kills a White person, protestors do not take to the streets screaming for blood, and the media largely ignores cases where Whites are killed. Couple that with POTUS, Clinton, Al Sharpton and others use the rare instances to play to the crowds of lemmings in order to stir the pot. Otherwise, people like Sharpton would have no reason to exist.

  6. Right on! The truth will out! I love it when the facts are so clear and support the righteous. These days the media has run away with some originally good ideas and perverted them to the point where We are all nightly bombarded with gripping stories of hardship and woe and always the answer is less freedom for me. or it is portrayed that I did something or do something that is the reason for the sad story that I’d rather wasn’t on my TV in the first place. We are crushed with images and indoctrination telling us that those things we are are wrong or bad or outdated. You are not outdated, you are not wrong for being who you are. You believe in the power of ideas and the will to make them stick. You understand the need for a society that takes responsibly for its own security and you are not wrong. The facts are clear, and i plan to confidently “present” these facts to some folks what need educatin’.

    “I love it when a plan comes together”

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