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It Always Works: Virgina Gun Sales Up and Crime Down

Amid calls nationwide for stricter gun control laws, Virginia is experiencing  a unique trend: the state’s gun-related crime is declining but firearms sales  are increasing.

Firearms sales rose 16 percent to a record 490,119 guns purchased from  licensed gun dealers in 2012, according to sales  estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

During the same period, major crimes committed with firearms dropped 5  percent to 4,378.

“This appears to be additional evidence that more guns don’t necessarily lead  to more crime,” said Thomas R. Baker, an assistant professor at Virginia  Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public  Affairs who specializes in research methods and criminology theory.

“It’s a quite interesting trend given the current rhetoric about  strengthening gun laws and the presumed effect it would have on violent crimes,”  Baker told the newspaper. “While you can’t conclude from this that tougher laws  wouldn’t reduce crime even more, it really makes you question if making it  harder for law-abiding people to buy a gun would have any effect on crime.”

“. . . all those extra guns can actually work to lower crime . .  .”

– Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense  League

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