Gun sales spike in Virginia as gun crimes drop

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – Gun advocates in Virginia are praising new findings suggesting gun crimes are down despite a surge in firearm sales.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that gun sales rose 16 percent in the state last year with 490,119 guns purchased from federally licensed gun dealers. In the same period, major crimes involving firearms dropped 5 percent, amounting to 240 fewer offenses.

The paper reports that total gun sales are up more than 100 percent from 2006 to 2012, while crimes involving firearms dropped 28 percent in that same time period.

Researchers say this evidence presents a unique trend, that more guns doesn’t necessarily mean more crime.

But gun control groups claim legally purchased firearms aren’t the problem, instead pointing to guns purchased without a background check as the source of a majority of gun-related crimes. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, murders and non-negligent manslaughter deaths committed with firearms rose 6 percent from 190 in 2011 to 201 last year. Killing involving firearms of an unknown type increased 42 percent from 62 in 2011 to 88 in 2013.

Virginia State Police provide instant background checks for every gun purchase from a federally licensed dealer in the state.

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