Sure, it was the Republican Governors, not the veto-proof Democratic majority in both houses of the legislature. Do you believe the Governors rule by dictatorial fiat? Its the legislature that continues to pass bad legislation incurring greater costs on businesses & taxpayers. View Comment
For the claim below that CA's violent crime drop is due to strict gun laws, violent crime has decreased across the entire country by 50%+ in the last 20 years. However, it decreased faster in states with liberal concealed carry laws.
CARRYING CONCEALED FIREARMS (CCW) STATISTICS
Violent crime rates are highest overall in states with laws severely limiting or prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense. (FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1992) -
The total Violent Crime Rate is 26% higher in the restrictive states (798.3 per 100,000 pop.) than in the less restrictive states (631.6 per 100,000).
The Homicide Rate is 49% higher in the restrictive states (10.1 per 100,000) than in the states with less restrictive CCW laws (6.8 per 100,000).
The Robbery Rate is 58% higher in the restrictive states (289.7 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (183.1 per 100,000).
The Aggravated Assault Rate is 15% higher in the restrictive states (455.9 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (398.3 per 100,000). Using the most recent FBI data (1992), homicide trends in the 17 states with less restrictive CCW laws compare favorably against national trends, and almost all CCW permittees are law-abiding.
Since adopting CCW (1987), Florida's homicide rate has fallen 21% while the U.S. rate has risen 12%. From start-up 10/1/87 2/28/94 (over 6 yrs.) Florida issued 204,108 permits; only 17 (0.008%) were revoked because permittees later committed crimes (not necessarily violent) in which guns were present (not necessarily used).
Of 14,000 CCW licensees in Oregon, only 4 (0.03%) were convicted of the criminal (not necessarily violent) use or possession of a firearm. Americans use firearms for self-defense more than 2.1 million times annually.
By contrast, there are about 579,000 violent crimes committed annually with firearms of all types. Seventy percent of violent crimes are committed by 7% of criminals, including repeat offenders, many of whom the courts place on probation after conviction, and felons that are paroled before serving their full time behind bars.
Two-thirds of self-protective firearms uses are with handguns.
99.9% of self-defense firearms uses do not result in fatal shootings of criminals, an important factor ignored in certain "studies" that are used to claim that guns are more often misused than used for self-protection. Of incarcerated felons surveyed by the Department of Justice, 34% have been driven away, wounded, or captured by armed citizens; 40% have decided against committing crimes for fear their would-be victims were armed.
http://www.carryconcealed.net/carrying-concealed-statistics View Comment
States’ crime rates show scant linkage to gun laws
President Obama has called for stricter federal gun laws to combat recent shooting rampages, but a review of recent state laws by The Washington Times shows no discernible correlation between stricter rules and lower gun-crime rates in the states.
States that ranked high in terms of making records available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System also tended to have tighter gun laws — but their gun-crime rates ranged widely. The same was true for states that ranked poorly on disclosure and were deemed to have much less stringent gun-possession laws.
For example, New York, even before it approved the strictest gun-control measures in the country last week, was ranked fourth among the states in strength of gun laws by the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, but was also in the top 10 in firearm homicide rates in 2011, according to the FBI.
Meanwhile, North Dakota was near the bottom in its firearm homicide, firearm robbery and firearm assault rates, but also had some of the loosest gun laws and worst compliance with turning over mental health records to the background check system.
Analysts said the data underscore that there are no simple or easy broad answers to combating gun violence, which is a complex equation involving gun-ownership rates, how ready authorities are to prosecute gun crimes and how widely they ban ownership.
Gary Kleck, a criminology professor at Florida State University, said in an email that a simple comparison between states' strength of gun laws and gun-crime rates doesn't say much about the effects of the laws because the exercise fails to control for other factors such as gun-ownership rates.
In an exhaustive analysis with data from 170 U.S. cities that did control for such factors, Mr. Kleck and fellow researcher E. Britt Patterson concluded that there was no general impact of gun-control laws on crime rates — with a few notable exceptions.
"There do appear to be some gun controls which work, all of them relatively moderate, popular and inexpensive," the researchers wrote. "Thus, there is support for a gun-control policy organized around gun-owner licensing or purchase permits (or some other form of gun-buyer screening); stricter local dealer licensing; bans on possession of guns by criminals and mentally ill people; stronger controls over illegal carrying; and possibly discretionary add-on penalties for committing felonies with a gun.
"On the other hand, popular favorites such as waiting periods and gun registration do not appear to affect violence rates," he said.
No state patterns
The Times analysis looked at the Brady Campaign's rankings for strength of each state's gun laws and at Mayors Against Illegal Guns' rankings for how states perform in disclosing mental health data to the background check system. That information was then matched against the FBI's 2011 gun-crime rankings for homicides, robberies and assaults.
The results showed no correlation among the strength of laws and disclosure and the crime rates.
For example, Maryland and New Jersey — both of them populous states with large metropolitan areas — have tight gun laws but poor mental health disclosure. But New Jersey's gun-crime rate was in the middle of the pack, while Maryland ranked sixth-highest in homicides involving guns and second-highest in robberies with guns.
Delaware and Virginia, which both ranked high in mental health disclosure and ranked 18th and 19th in the Brady tally of tough gun laws, also had divergent crime rates.
Delaware ranked among the top 10 in number of gun robberies and gun assaults, while Virginia was in the middle of the pack on its measures.
Statistical anomalies were found between rural states such as Louisiana and Vermont. The former state has lax gun laws and has high gun-crime rates on all three measures. Although Vermont also is a rural state with a strong tradition of gun ownership — the Brady Campaign ranks it 26th in terms of strength of gun laws — it has low gun-crime rates. For further head-scratching, Vermont ranks among the nation's worst in turning over mental health records to the background check system.
State law details
John Lott, who has conducted extensive research on the link between gun laws and crime rates, said he has examined 13 kinds of gun-control laws, but one that stands out as reducing crime is concealed-carry.
"What you see is the states that issue the most [concealed-carry] permits have the most drops in violent crime," he said. "When states pass carry laws, some criminals stop committing crimes, some criminals switch to other types of crimes and some criminals move out of the area."
He said that a deep dive into data is essential to understanding why different regions of the country see different results. Mr. Lott pointed to Texas and Pennsylvania, both of which are right-to-carry states, but he explained that the permitting process is much more expensive in Texas.
"If I have a $140 fee versus a $20 fee, I'm more likely to get suburban white males," he said. However, he noted, "poor blacks in high-crime areas benefit the most from carrying a gun."
"Those differences make a huge difference in how many people go through the process to get the permit," he concluded.
Still, the two large states had mixed results in crime rates in 2011. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, Pennsylvania had higher rates of robberies and homicides committed with firearms than Texas, while the Lone Star State had nearly half again as many gun assaults per 100,000 population.
The Brady Campaign declined a request for comment, but David Chipman, a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who now works with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said that linking gun laws and background check compliance with crime rates is risky — particularly since 40 percent of gun transactions are private sales that don't require background checks.
"Requiring a criminal background check for every gun in every circumstance is something not yet tried," he said. "How do you measure prevention? It's tough to do a double-blind test."
Mr. Chipman also pointed to Virginia's first-of-its-kind 1989 law creating an instant check system — the Virginia Firearms Transaction Program — as an example of a law that had a tangible effect on criminal behavior and the gun market.
"When Virginia passed that law, all of the New Yorkers who used to come down — they never came back and tried to buy the guns themselves in the store," he said. "They were forced to use straw purchasers, and many of them went to other states.
"Did it immediately prevent all gun trafficking? Of course not. But it sure changed it," he said.
In 1991, the ATF reported that 40 percent of more than 1,200 guns recovered at crime scenes in New York were traced to Virginia, though gun rights advocates dispute the data. In 2011, 407 guns out of almost 9,000 guns recovered and traced in New York came from Virginia, according to the agency — about 5 percent.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, also argues that some specific changes can lower crime rates. He told the U.S. Conference of Mayors last week that after Colorado closed its loophole allowing private dealers to sell guns without conducting background checks, fewer Colorado-sold guns turned up at crime scenes.
He also said that in states that require background checks on all sales, 38 percent less women are fatally shot by their boyfriends and husbands.
He also cited a recent Duke University study that showed once a severely mentally ill person's records are turned over to the background check system, that person is 31 percent less likely to be convicted of a violent crime.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/24/states-crime-rates-show-scant-linkage-to-gun-laws/ View Comment
Gun crime has plunged, but Americans think it's up, says study
May 7, 2013, 12:46 p.m.
Gun crime has plunged in the United States since its peak in the middle of the 1990s, including gun killings, assaults, robberies and other crimes, two new studies of government data show.
Yet few Americans are aware of the dramatic drop, and more than half believe gun crime has risen, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center.
In less than two decades, the gun murder rate has been nearly cut in half. Other gun crimes fell even more sharply, paralleling a broader drop in violent crimes committed with or without guns. Violent crime dropped steeply during the 1990s and has fallen less dramatically since the turn of the millennium.
The number of gun killings dropped 39% between 1993 and 2011, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in a separate report released Tuesday. Gun crimes that weren’t fatal fell by 69%. However, guns still remain the most common murder weapon in the United States, the report noted. Between 1993 and 2011, more than two out of three murders in the U.S. were carried out with guns, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found.
The bureau also looked into non-fatal violent crimes. Few victims of such crimes -- less than 1% -- reported using a firearm to defend themselves.
Despite the remarkable drop in gun crime, only 12% of Americans surveyed said gun crime had declined compared with two decades ago, according to Pew, which surveyed more than 900 adults this spring. Twenty-six percent said it had stayed the same, and 56% thought it had increased.
It’s unclear whether media coverage is driving the misconception that such violence is up. The mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., were among the news stories most closely watched by Americans last year, Pew found. Crime has also been a growing focus for national newscasts and morning network shows in the past five years but has become less common on local television news.
“It’s hard to know what’s going on there,” said D’Vera Cohn, senior writer at the Pew Research Center. Women, people of color and the elderly were more likely to believe that gun crime was up than men, younger adults or white people. The center plans to examine crime issues more closely later this year.
Though violence has dropped, the United States still has a higher murder rate than most other developed countries, though not the highest in the world, the Pew study noted. A Swiss research group, the Small Arms Survey, says that the U.S. has more guns per capita than any other country.
Experts debate why overall crime has fallen, attributing the drop to all manner of causes, such as the withering of the crack cocaine market and surging incarceration rates.
Some researchers have even linked dropping crime to reduced lead in gasoline, pointing out that lead can cause increased aggression and impulsive behavior in exposed children.
The victims of gun killings are overwhelmingly male and disproportionately black, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Compared with other parts of the country, the South had the highest rates of gun violence, including both murders and other violent gun crimes.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-gun-crimes-pew-report-20130507%2C0%2C3022693.story View Comment
Incorrect Broad River. As long as the magazine is declared (which the cop has no way of knowing) a larger capacity magazine can be carried as long as it contains no more than 10 rounds.
Its also not 'lazy' to not have 10 round magazines. They have been in short supply since the legislation was passed.
Remember people, intent no longer matters when it comes to laws. View Comment
Fact: Semi-automatic rifles as used in the tragedy are not used by any military who equip their soldiers with fully automatic rifles. Your premise is incorrect.
Fact: 60% of deaths attributed to firearms are suicides. Suicide rates are independent of firearm ownership as those serious about suicide use other methods. Example: Japan has 2x the suicide rate yet very low firearm ownership.
Fact: No state with stricter gun control laws has a lower violent crime rate. View Comment
Chicago had a ban on handguns for over 20 years, how is that not strict?
The only reason they're not banned right now is because the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional in McDonald v Chicago. View Comment
Its designed to expel a projectile (typically made of lead with a copper jacket) that weighs typically between 115-147 grains to a velocity of between 1000-1300 fps.
Its designed to be held in one hand & be more portable than a rifle though with the limitations of size it is less accurate & less powerful.
Anything more than that is dependent upon use of the person who is in possession of it. View Comment
Weakest? They had a complete ban on handguns for 30 years until it was overturned by the Supreme Court 2 years ago. There still aren't any gun stores in Chicago.
Illinois is ranked #9 by the Brady Campaign. View Comment