Does Gun Control Reduce Crime?

It is clearly in the interests of children and families to reduce gun violence in the United States. Each day, on an average, 13 children under the age of 19 are killed by gunfire and more are injured. Homicide is the second leading cause of death for youths 10–19 years old. For black males of this age, it’s the No.1 cause of death. Most youth homicides are committed with firearms, especially handguns.

A heated debate rages between those who believe in rigidly controlling guns and those who believe in no gun regulation. On one side, some gun‐control advocates would like to see the government clamp down on gun manufacturers, sellers, and owners to the point that no citizens can carry guns. In general, the gun‐control community wants to limit the availability of guns (which is a supply‐reduction strategy). On the other side, the National Rifle Association (NRA) claims that the Second Amendment guarantees each citizen an absolute right to “bear arms.” Consequently, the NRA fights all attempts to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of guns. In general, the NRA and its allies favor tough sentences for criminals who use guns (which is a demand‐reduction strategy).

Gun control does reduce crime [edit]

Gun‐control advocates advance several arguments to support their position that the government should restrict the availability of guns to reduce violence.

*More handguns in circulation equals more violent crime.

*Owning a handgun increases a person’s risk of being killed.

*Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals prevents violent crime.

*Taking guns away from criminals reduces violent crime.

Gun control does not reduce crime [IxD] [edit]

their are three main reasons why gun control laws don’t reduce crime:

  1. Criminals don’t obey gun control laws. and therefore will have their guns anyway

  2. Background Checks Aren’t Effective

  3. Crime Goes Down When Good Guys Have Guns, but gun control laws reduce the law obeying citizens from purchasing guns

Alternative measures to reduce gun violence [edit]

An alternative to gun control—mandatory sentences for persons who commit crimes with firearms—will produce greater reductions in crime and require less sacrifice on the part of gun owners than gun‐control laws.[IxD]

Another alternative is taking guns away from criminals via proactive arrests (made by police officers on patrols in gun‐crime hot spots, using traffic enforcement and field interrogations) for carrying concealed weapons. This approach substantially reduced gun crimes in Kansas City in the mid‐1990s.

Evaluating gun control Proponents of gun control suggest that some of the arguments against gun control are invalid. For example, they cite statistics that support the fact that if more citizens carried guns to defend themselves, there would be little decrease in crime because crime victims rarely use weapons anyway.[Tx9]

Additional refutation of anti‐gun‐control points involves the assertion that if more states passed mandatory sentencing laws for criminals who use guns in the commission of crimes, crime would be unaffected because in the past such laws have failed to cut crime. .

A major question is whether or not gun‐control laws reduce crime. Thus far, handgun bans have failed to have any significant impact on murder rates because of the large number of handguns in circulation prior to the bans. Attempts to outlaw the manufacture and importation of handguns have failed because they stimulate the genesis of a black market for guns similar to the black market for drugs. Laws seeking to keep handguns out of the hands of criminals, juveniles, and mental defectives have failed to reduce crime because active criminals either have guns already or can steal them. Waiting periods and background checks temporarily stop some criminals and juveniles from getting guns, but many steal them or get them through the black market.

Idealogs Extension Icon