BELLEVUE, WA – The newly-release FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2018 says violent crime is down overall 3.3 percent from 2017, and the number of reported homicides involving firearms also declined, leading the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to ask Democrats and the gun prohibition lobby: “What ‘gun violence’ epidemic are you talking about?”

According to the new FBI data, last year there were an estimated 14,123 murders in the United States, which is down from the 15,129 reported in 2017. In 2018, an estimated 10,256 slayings involved firearms, down slightly from the 10,982 posted by the FBI during the previous year.

“So, the number of murders has gone down,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb observed. “Yet, in order to create the impression that this country is awash in violent crime, gun grabbers routinely combine the number of homicides and suicides, plus accidental deaths and call them all acts of so-called ‘gun violence.’ It is deliberately misleading and downright dishonest. Why are Democrats and the gun prohibition lobby lying about this?

“It is important to note,” Gottlieb continued, “that last year, according to the new FBI data, only 297 murders are known to have been committed with rifles of any kind, yet Democrats including all of those now running for president want to ban modern semiautomatic sporting rifles, which they repeatedly mischaracterize as ‘weapons of war.’ Millions of honest citizens own such firearms, and they have harmed nobody.”

Gottlieb, in the aftermath of the most successful and largest Gun Rights Policy Conference in the event’s 34-year history, said the time has come for the “honest conversation” anti-gunners continually demand.

“Let’s have this discussion,” he challenged, “and let’s stick to the facts. Let’s leave the emotions and theatrics outside. It’s time for the gun prohibition lobby, and their Democrat allies, to explain why they want to unilaterally disarm this country’s law-abiding gun owners. Why are they determined to penalize every gun owner for crimes they didn’t commit? Why do they treat the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as a government-regulated privilege? The right to keep and bear arms predates the Second Amendment. We have the Second Amendment to prevent the government from taking away our liberty, and it’s time for Democrats and gun grabbers to explain why they want to change that.”