Stop blaming lawful gun sales for spikes in crime

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Gun sales have been high for years. This is especially true on Black Friday, where we often see massive surges in gun sales.

Many of these sales are to new gun owners while others are veteran gun owners adding to their collection.


What they’re usually not, however, are criminals buying guns. But, unfortunately, many people don’t seem to understand this.

When FBI reports last November revealed that Black Friday background checks showed it to be the fourth-highest day for gun sales since records have been kept, some anti-Second Amendment advocates were flabbergasted and angry. They don’t want people to protect themselves until help arrives. They don’t like that people are noticing that the far Left’s soft-on-crime policies have made us all less safe. And, at least in their public statements, they push the fiction that lawful gun sales are a cause for the rise in criminal violence.

Ironically, the same politicians and activists who favor turning criminals loose are quick to blame rising gun sales to lawful citizens and increased numbers of concealed-carry permits for rises in violent crime rates.

They have it backward. Over the past few years, as the legal system has become less interested in protecting citizens in some jurisdictions, more Americans have decided they need the ability to protect themselves. A 2021 Gallup poll found that more than half of Americans (51%) perceived crime to have climbed in their communities, up from 38% only a year before. Consequently, more people have realized that if they are going to be safe, they must be prepared to protect themselves.

The result has been a dramatic increase in gun sales, along with a large jump in the number of concealed-carry permits issued in many states. Also, several states have chosen to stop infringing on the right to bear arms altogether by deregulating concealed carry with constitutional, or “permitless,” carry laws.



You see, people buy lawful guns for a number of reasons, but the number one reason people give for buying a new firearm is personal protection. Either they want to protect their home or they want to carry them for their personal safety. Either way, though, these sales are in response to surges in violent crime, not the cause of it.

And really, that makes perfect sense.

We know that criminals aren’t obtaining guns through lawful gun sales. We also know that straw buys account for a fairly small percentage of crime guns. Most are stolen from lawful gun owners, then sold on the black market.

So how can lawful gun sales somehow drive the violent crime they’re in response to?

The truth is, these voices don’t want anyone to think too hard. They buy into the idea of more guns leading to more crime and they expect everyone else to do the same. So, they present minimal information framed in such a way that you’ll walk away with the belief that it’s a thing.

It’s not.

Guns are being sold to law-abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong. Gun control laws would punish these individuals while doing absolutely nothing to inhibit the people causing the problems in the first place.


And gun sales going up or down isn’t the cause of anything. It’s the effect.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member