The FBI's Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report for 2010 shows a decrease of 5.5 percent in the number of violent crimes from 2009 to 2010, including a 4.4 percent drop in the number of murders. Violent crime, which includes murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault, decreased in all four regions of the country and in both cities and non-metropolitan areas.
For decades, violent crime in the United States has been dropping. Final figures for 2009 showed violent crime at its lowest level since 1984. Preliminary data places violent crime at a 37-year low and murder at a 47-year low.
As crime plummets, firearm ownership and use for personal protection has been increasing, disproving anti-gun organizations' claims that more guns lead to more crime. Instead, all data points to the opposite.
During the historic surge in firearms sales occurring from late 2008 into 2010, an estimated 34.4 million Americans went target shooting for training and recreation in 2009, the largest number on record. And Americans purchased more than 400,000 AR-15 rifles in 2009, with trends indicating a similar number for 2010.
The growth of AR ownership and use is no fluke, according to a recent survey of modern sporting rifle aficionados performed by the leading firearms trade association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Among the findings:- 60 percent of respondents own multiple ARs, with the average owned being 2.6.- 30 percent purchased their first rifle in 2009 or 2010.- 99 percent owned some type of firearm prior to their first AR purchase.- The three most-owned accessories were a rifle sling (81 percent), soft carrying case (70 percent) and mounted scope (68 percent).- 3 out of every four most recently purchased ARs were chambered in .223/5.56 NATO.- Not having enough free time and the cost of ammo are the two main issues preventing AR owners from shooting as much as they would like.