Relationship Between Crimes Rates and Guns Ownership

In recent days, the crime rate has increased a lot and several new crimes are now in action. Thousands of criminals are using advanced and modern equipments in order to commit a crime at big places like Banks, Organizations etc. No place is safe in this world from crime. Asian countries as well as the United States are also suffering from high crime rates. Crime can only be controlled by implementing strong and strict policies in a state. There is a strong relationship between crime rate and law implementation. Nowadays, criminals are using advanced equipments and weapons which is the main cause of the rising crime rate. A number of researches proved that a state which holds high guns ownership has a low crime rate. It has been observed in Britan and Canada have a low crime rate as thousands of permits are issued yearly for guns possession. Israel is one of the biggest states which holds a high gun ownership rate that’s the only reason why crime rate is low there (Kleck, 2009: 1). An increase in gun possession led to a higher gun-killings rate and law making permits nationals to carry hidden equipments does not low down the crime, according to a recent NBER Working Paper by Mark Duggan.

After topping out in 1993, gun killings in the United States of America have reduced up to 36 percent till the end of 1998, while non-gun killings reduced only 18 percent. In the same year, the household portion with at least one gun reduced from more than 42 percent to less than 35 percent. Duggan an analyst, states that about one-third of the gun-killing has reduced since 1993 is justified by the fall in gun possession. The largest drop down has been reported in areas with huge cut downs in firearm ownership. Previous work proved that there is a strong relationship between guns ownership and reduced crime rate. In the United States of America and Britain crime rate is relatively low than its neighboring countries just because a huge proportion of citizens carry guns ownership.

A number of researches are there which emphasize the relationship between gun ownership and crime has been blocked by a lack of authentic data on gun possession.

In various theories it is stated that the effect of gun ownership on law-breaking is equivocal. If criminals are discouraged from devoting crimes when possible victims are more likely to have a firearm, in that case a high rate of gun ownership can help in reduction of crime rate. There are two faces of a picture, guns ownership can help in reducing crime up to some extent and if people start using guns ownership in order to solve their personal matters and in case some death occurs than guns ownership can play a role in increasing the crime rate.

Proving one theory related to crime over another has been very complicated due to the lack of suitable data on gun possession evaluated across geographic regions over time. Duggan proved that sales rates are higher in such states whose demographic properties are similar to those of the traditional gun owner according to national surveys. In addition, he proves that the casualty rate from gunshots and the number of guns calculated per capital are directly linked to magazine sales (David, 2008: 1). While Duggan accepts that only few followers may be crooks, he figures out that most of firearms used in crime are found from the secondhand market. Thus, it can be concluded according to the situation that if gun ownership increases, crime rates can also increase. The issue of guns ownership is important and it matters a lot that each and every person must have security and safety of his belongings. According to the survey, in 1985, about 31,600 individuals were killed via artilleries, and 130,000 people faced nonlethal gunshot.

Most of the casualties, 55%, were suicide cases, rest were all criminals’ killings and 5% were of fatal gun cases, and around 1.5% were killed by police in the line of duty. Among all casualties due to “external cause,” such as accidents, suicides, home killings, and killings by the police guns are 22% involve din this scenario. There are many types of guns available in markets and easy access to all weapons is one of the biggest issues in increasing crime rate. Thousands of guns are used by criminals. The majority of all deaths involved hand guns and other guns are also used by criminals.

Thousands of people are facing lots of difficulties due to guns and increasing crime rates in different parts of the world. No place is safe from crime. The scenes for diminishing violence rates by restricting gun’s use highly depends on the rate of guns used, how people carry them, what’s the source of getting them, why they own it, for what purpose they are carrying them, these questions must be answers in order to control the increasing crime rate. Usually people do not like to carry guns as they expect from government to make their belongings safe and secure. There are several ways to control the increasing crime rate but strong implantation and proper monitoring is really important. In 1990, there were approximately 200 million guns were in private hands. In past decades guns use was really low and thousands of people did not use guns for their own purposes but the crime rate was low. Now, every one carries the gun and the crime rate is increasing daily. It doesn’t mean there is any linked between guns and increasing crime. Policy makers and analysts are looking on the ways that how a crime rate can be controlled in a state.

In order to prevent unexpected deaths and casualties it is really important to have a strong implementation of rules and regulations in a proper and strict way. In recent days, common man has started keeping a gun at home for defensive purposes. Keeping a gun at home makes gun keeper feel safer and secure. People usually think that they are safe as they have a gun at home. Defense The belief is not necessarily a hallucination (Francis, 2009: 1). Person who uses guns for self-defense in case of any robberies and assaults have a low rate than those who use these guns for criminal and unlawful act. Safest use of hand guns usually occurs in such situations where the dupes are likely to have held to their handguns, mostly in their homes or business places. Thus, people usually use handguns at homes and business places in order to feel safe and secure. The effects of guns in the hands of assailants can be easily understood if we see crimson events as being compiled of a sequence of stages, with the outcome of each stage being depending on previous stages.

Figure 1 shows the stages, along with their effects

Stage in Guns in the Hands of the:

Hostile Encounters Aggressor Victim

Confrontation (+) (+/-)

Threat, given confrontation (+) (-)

Attack, given threat – –

Injury, given attack – 0

Death, given injury + 0


+ means gun possession of use increases the probability that the

Encounter will proceed from the previous stage to the current one,

– means a gun decreases this probability, and 0 means no effect. (Kleck, 2009)

There is a high impact of guns ownership on the crime rate as people have started keeping guns at home and at business places for their safety. License guns are allowed in most of the regions but it is important to investigate that for which purpose a person needs a gun. Proper investigation before the issuance of a license can also help in reducing crime rate. About 5% of the accidents related to gun accidents. While gun accidents add only about 5% of the deaths in a year, they play a pivotal role in controlling guns debate. They are widely used in order to sway people that carrying guns at their places for their safety is a foolish act because the risks of a gun casualties cross defensive benefits. Gun accidents hold significant importance and need to be reviewed clearly for properly control over crimes. Keeping a gun at home is not safe as any one can suffer from unexpected gun accidents which are not desired.

Controlling increasing crime rate is not an easy task as law agencies are indorsing their full efforts but they are still failing. The relationship between guns ownership and crime rate is a controversial issue and it could not be stated clearly that whether there is a link between both entities or not. Both entities are not directly linked with each other brut they pose a hidden relationship with each other. It is a little difficult to state that whether increasing gun ownership is one of the causes of the increasing crime rate. However, it can be stated that proper investigation at the time of document issuance can help in reducing crime rate in a state. Guns in hands are not wisdom and it is a foolish act. Weapons are an important tool for defense but it should be used in proper way for effective results.

It has been stated by Lott, that the link between the rate of suicides and gun usage is totally based on cross-sectional level data, which makes it an insignificant link. On the contrary, gun control laws have a profound effect on the number of suicides undertaken, state many other authors (Hemenway, 2003). People possessing guns are found everywhere in today’s society, with the rate of homicides on the rise. Accidental shooters are also found, apart from criminals, who commit killings mistakenly. These shooters have no previous records which could indicate any negative elements about their characters, like alcoholism, or previous killings, or even not possessing a driver’s license.

Killings have been reported in relation to firearms, but not specifically by the use of guns. Homicides are the single most serious violent crimes that are committed, and many believe that there is a significant level of positive relation between the levels of homicides and gun ownership by the masses. Emphasis has been laid on the use of guns as self-defense mechanisms, and on the contrary, their possession is taking lives of people by and large. Whether they are major accidents, such as instant deaths, or minor ones, such as wounds, the keeping of guns in pockets is stated to be more of a cause of suicides, homicides, and accidents. Lesser attention is paid to the fact that urbanization, poverty, alcoholism, and low education levels may be the cause of the rise in rates of killings of males and females all over the region. Maximum blame is strangely put on the possession of guns, and they are the main cause of crime raise (Hemenway, 2003).

State laws on gun ownership would have a very small effect on crime rates, whereas it is thought of as having a major impact on the amounts of crimes that are prevalent. Econometrics shows no link of gun carrying licenses to rampage killings, whereas some people think that these two factors are also proportional to one another. Even criminologists would expect a very small link of road shootouts and private gun ownerships.

Experts say that gun ownership does not increase gun homicides on one hand, and on the other hand, reports clearly state that the two are definitely interlinked. Statistics show that in the time span of five years from 1993 to 1998, gun homicides dropped down substantially, by 36%, while non-gun homicides dropped by only a meager 18% during the same time frame. This was attributable to the fact that the percentage of households that contained at least one gun each, declined from 42% to less than 35% (Francis).

If a civilian is using his handgun to protect himself from an attack on him, he may save his life and an encounter that could lead to the loss of his own life. This would be the healthy use of a gun, and would cut down an instance of a harmful attack. Apparently, if a person uses it to perform a killing, a negative aspect of gun possession would emerge, and would contribute to illicit and unlawful behavior (Francis).

Thus it is seen that the way a certain thing is used affects its outcome. The ownership of a gun would not increase crime rates, say some experts, while others say the misuse of guns leads to crimes. We can conclude that the possession of a gun would not be a menace to society, but its exploitation would diminish peace from the world. It would be the responsibility of gun owners not to mishandle their weapons and just keep them for defensive purposes, rather than for abuse or destruction.


  1. Hemenway, D. (2003). Harvard School of Public Health.
  2. Francis, D. Fewer Guns Mean Fewer Gun Homicides. 
  3. David, (2008), LAWYERS, GUNS, AND BURGLARS.
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