Gun Control – The U.K. vs The U.S.

Gun Control – The U.K. vs The U.S.

The U.K. is often cited by gun control advocates as a successful example of gun control. Here are the facts:

• Instituted in 1997, statistics confirm that gun-related homicides did NOT decline after the U.K. handgun ban. [1] In fact, the average number of firearm offenses in the ’97 to 2011 period was 31% higher than in the 1990 to ’96 period. [1]

• People intent on murder find other ways to kill. In England and Wales, for instance, homicide-by-stabbing rates are 5 times higher than gun-related homicide rates. [2] This is why TOTAL homicides are relevant, as they illustrate if homicides – in general- declined after instituting gun control.

• When looking at TOTAL homicide rates, we see they, too, did NOT improve after the gun ban. [3]

• And what about overall crime? Per the U.N., the U.K. has one of the highest per capita crime rates in the world. (specifically 4th highest out of 81 countries observed based on 2002 data) [4]

• In the U.S., there were 403 Incidents of “violent crime” per 100,000 people in 2010 [5], 387 incidents in 2012 [6, and 371 incidents in 2013 [7].

• In contrast, there were 1,797 Incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people in 2010 for the U.K. [8] However, “violent crime” is defined more broadly in the U.K., meaning their official figures can be adjusted downward to align it with how “violent crime” is defined in the U.S. After doing that, their rate is still near twice that of the U.S. at approximately 776 incidents a year. [8] [13]

• The political rhetoric often implies that the U.S. is overrun with homicides, but a comparison of 192 countries shows we’re among the safest ones. [9]

• The U.S. is arguably getting safer. Per the FBI, the 2013 murder rate was 5.1% lower than in 2012, 10.5% lower than in 2009, and 18.3% lower than in 2004. [10] Furthermore, violent crime in general has been declining for years. [11] [12]

So while gun control isn’t making the UK safer, the U.S. already IS getting safer.








By the Numbers: Is the UK really 5 times more violent than the US?