New Gun Control Law Database Misses Mark

Gun control activists love to tout the success of their restrictive laws, yet they ignore the common knowledge that gun crimes—including homicides—have been steadily decreasing for decades. Unfortunately, what these gun laws typically do is make it easier to for criminals to carry out their acts of violence, or inconvenience that millions of law-abiding owners from exercising their Second Amendment rights. Now, a new “gun law database” has popped up in an effort to track how these draconian laws “save lives.” (Spoiler: They usually don’t.) President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Larry Keane, takes a look at this database and tears it down with facts and figures.

Gun Control Database Misses the Forest for the Trees

A recent piece in Newsweek sounds the alarm on firearm fatalities, while failing to note they are at historic lows, to tout a new database of gun control policies and the lessons it offers for states.nssf_map_article

Examining laws in a vacuum is a useless exercise. The term “database” itself lends a scientific-sounding gravitas to a list of laws in each state, while ignoring the fact that many of the policies are too different to lump together into categories without missing crucial differences between each state’s versions.

Often, gun control laws are illogically introduced as knee-jerk reactions to increasing criminal activity or to stand-alone incidents that receive significant media coverage. Of course, these laws tend to only impact law-abiding citizens rather than the criminals who are not interested in complying with new laws.

Setting aside the fact that criminals fail to abide by new laws, the database lists policies, but not context. The “why” behind the enactment of new gun control laws is likely a larger picture. In other words, the database creators compiled the “effects” of certain trends in violent crime rates and are now claiming that they are the “causes” of trend variations.

Perhaps the article’s authors should have taken a closer look at the database. For example, Vermont appears to have only 6 of the laws they track, and yet the nonfatal firearm injury rate is too low to report, and 11 people were firearm homicide victims in 2015, or 1.76 per 100,000 people. New York has 75 of the laws in place, but a much higher injury rate of 4.83 per 100,000 and a homicide rate of 2.07 per 100,000. California has a whopping 104 laws on the books, with an injury rate of 8.48 and a homicide rate of 3.52. How can the author argue that more gun control laws yields better statistics? Obviously, this database misses the forest for the trees.

That’s not to say that every single law in the database has no impact. For one, NSSF has been a leading advocate for laws to require states to submit disqualifying mental health records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system. But attempts to argue that protecting companies from unfounded lawsuits leads to a one year uptick in certain types of crime is weak at best. Criminals don’t care whether companies may be sued for the criminals’ wrongful or criminal misuse of their legally manufactured and sold products. Criminals also don’t care whether background checks are required at gun shows. Less than one percent of criminals obtained their firearms from gun shows, according to government surveys. It simply doesn’t matter to them.
Rather than presenting irrational arguments like more criminals are misusing firearms because states have passed laws allowing people to defend themselves from violence, researchers should be looking at the patterns in violent crime that would create the desire for citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Of course the allure of a “database” is strong, but it misses the big picture in favor of advocating for more restrictions on those who comply with the laws.

What do you think of this new gun control law database? Let us know what you think in the comments.

22 Comments On This Article

  1. Gun control advocates are perpetually stuck on stupid, laws are obeyed by law abiding citizens/non criminals and completely disregarded by the unlawful, thus we call them criminals. Gun control is not nor has it ever been about safety, its about CONTROL, period!!!!

  2. Firearms laws are too complex for most to understand. It should be fairly simple; if you are law-abiding you can purchase anything (do away with those ridiculous NFA restrictions and everything that followed) and if you aren’t law-abiding you can’t purchase anything. There may be a way for someone to restore their rights, but that can be determined by the states (similar to voting rights). There is no such thing as a law that affects criminal behavior beyond punishment.

  3. It would be great if the FBI and police could track crime trends and look for patterns of serial killers, gangs, and in general, crime hot spots. But, that’s not what we have in the US. We have a hodgepodge of contradictory laws, regulations, polices, and political agendas across fifty states, hundreds of counties, and thousands of cites, towns, and villages that defeat the whole purpose of a national crime database. Even the vaunted National Crime Information Center (NCIC) used for background checks for police, military, and firearms purchases is so incomplete that no police agency depends on it for sole source. That’s because those same agencies (especially the bigger cities and many states) fail to report investigation info about crimes, incompletely report crimes, or fudge their crime info to make themselves look better. Many smaller police agencies don’t have the money or training to properly update the NCIC system. Or in many cases police doesn’t trust the Federal Government with their local crime data. What we’re left with is a system that doesn’t work. So, how is a gun control database going to do any better??? In one famous case over a decade ago, a serial killer rampaged across a dozen states and even though he was arrested many times for everything from vagancy to petty theft it was never reported outside those towns. It wasn’t realized what he had done until he was captured many years later. He killed women, girls, and occasionally men in nearby towns he traveled through. Tracing his patterns resulted in the solving of 50 plus murders over many years (he may have killed over a hundred, but was executed before they could prove it). He related some of his murders to the police investigators and they realized they could have figured out his killing pattern from all his minor arrests. Only a small number of his lessor crimes have ever been entered in the NCIC system.

  4. Gun control advocates will never admit that they are wrong. They will continue bending the facts to try and fit their agenda and if you disagree with them you may get a death threat from these fair minded peace loving liberals. They showed in the last election how they react to those of us that prefer the truth rather than made-up facts.

  5. We’ve gotten used to this over the last 40 years, and it’ll never change. Guns, school choice, open borders, things that should be no-brainers to normal people, will always be “challenged” by those who want control; to those who despise and fear personal freedom, personal responsibility and accountability, and the sovereign citizen. Freedom terrifies many people.

  6. The way it looks in this article in the fifth paragraph of the second section, it appears that firearms laws cause fatalities and accidents. It isn’t happening in Maine, but New York and Cali are sure kickin’ out the homicides. It’s too bad they didn’t look at Illinois, District of Columbia and Louisiana.

  7. Media! Anytime they’re involved, the product is suspect! They simply can’t separate their agenda from what they’re presenting as “news”!

  8. The underlying cause of more than half of firearm homicides is the 73% illegitimacy rate among urban blacks. Without the love, discipline, and direction of fathers, young black boys grow up feral in the jungle environment of the street with almost no cultural capital. They never develop self-respect and cannot tolerate disrespect. When was the last time you heard Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, or Gregory Meeks advise young black girls not to get pregnant out of wedlock? The high homicide and crime rate among blacks naturally causes others to avoid their neighborhoods and dissuades association with them elsewhere because of the perceived danger and potential demeaning racial reaction. To not acknowledge this situation is reverse racism that perpetuates the violence.

  9. If gun laws are effective than how are people going to defend against crime acts on there person. It is a documented fact law officers are unable to stop a crime before it happens.
    The answer for me is to arm myself and be ready if it happens to me or my family

  10. As a resident of Vermont, a state that has the 2A imbedded in our constitution, most Vermonters have at least one gun in the home behind the kitchen door, as well as a large % of our citizens carry a defensive weapon. Also, being about 90% woodland, there is an incredible amount of hunting here in season.
    So, with such “lax” gunlaws, why aren’t we at the top of the murder list? Why when I walk into the local country store with a handgun on my hip, nobody screams, runs to the door, or calls 9-11?? Maybe because they also have a gun in thier pocket or under their coat?
    Nah, couldn’t be..

  11. You can expect to see references to this database to start showing up whenever anti-gunners want to make a point, and they will use the term, “a reputable national database” as the source of their data.

  12. Laws only affect law abiding citizens, criminals don’t obey the law so no real impact achieved by MORE laws. Besides, the laws only put a punishment on a crime AFTER it has been committed and in most liberal states the courts are putting the laws to the side, slapping criminals on the wrist and turning them loose to once again prey on actual law abiding citizens, that by the way, would be unarmed if the liberals had their way.

  13. Gun laws create victims. Victim creation gives legitimacy to the “need” for gun laws. The state’s with the highest gun related crimes are also the states with the most restrictions on gun possession. This is a no brainer, It is 100% about control. The puppet masters know for a fact that they cannot take absolute control of us because between us all there are millions upon millions of guns and even more ammunition for them. We the people are the resistance. We the people need to fight back against illegal laws. Not one-NOT ONE law written after the 2A is legal in any way at all! This is what everyone needs to understand. Only one law regarding guns is legal and that sits in our constitution. Police officers, judges and district attorneys act illegally all the time when they enforce any law written after the second amendment. ‘Shall not be infringed’ means only one thing and anyone who does not adhere to the constitution is in fact engaging in illegal acts.

  14. Many politicians love to pass feel good-do nothing laws just to show people how good they are. “Gosh, look at this law we just passed. Yes, it does nothing to stop criminals and restricts law abiding people, but it feels good.”
    These unthinking laws hurt us while helping criminals avoid being confronted by someone able to defend themselves. But, these self-serving politicians don’t care about that. The law feels good so it must be good and that way, help them win the next election.