BELLEVUE, WA – New FBI data for the first quarter of 2024 shows violent crime dropped by more than 15 percent from the same period last year, at a time when U.S. gun ownership has continued to rise, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says this is more evidence widespread gun ownership is not the cause of crime.

“More guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is probably a deterrent,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Recent data shows a 6.7 percent increase in gun ownership between 2017 and 2023, and during that period, gun ownership among women went up 13.6 percent.”

According to an FBI announcement, “A comparison of data from agencies that voluntarily submitted at least two or more common months of data for January through March 2023 and 2024 indicates reported violent crime decreased by 15.2 percent. Murder decreased by 26.4 percent, rape decreased by 25.7 percent, robbery decreased by 17.8 percent, and aggravated assault decreased by 12.5 percent. Reported property crime also decreased by 15.1 percent.”

“This is a significant report,” Gottlieb stated, “because it literally destroys a myth that has been perpetuated for years by the gun prohibition lobby, that more guns results in more violent crime. Today, 29 states have passed laws eliminating the need for permits to carry firearms for personal protection, yet crime is down. More than 21 million Americans are licensed to carry, according to the most recent available data, suggesting they aren’t a problem, but might be part of the solution.”

The data covers the months of January through March. Attorney General Merrick Garland noted this new data on the decline in homicide “does not represent abstract statistics.” The declines in violent and property crime have been seen in every region of the country.  

“What this report shows is that blaming lawful gun ownership for violent crime is a non-starter, and it always has been,” Gottlieb said.