Hard to Say If High Gun Sales Affect Crime Rate

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

November 25, 2012

Whether you like it or not, firearms sales have been moving way up the past few years, meanwhile crime has been on a downward trend in Virginia.

So, are the two statistics correlated?

"I think that kinda shows that maybe the systems working. These bad elements, they're not able to come into a gun store and purchase a firearm because there are checks and balances put in place that are going to eliminate that," said Michael Brookman, owner of Albemarle County Firearms.

"It's become a realization to some people that it's their responsibility to protect themselves. We have incredible law enforcement here but at the end of the day, their job is to enforce the law," he said.

Charlottesville police say there's a lot of work that goes into making crime go down in general, which it has in the past five years, but especially as gun sales go up. Everyday officers are promoting safety and directing people to necessary training for their firearms.

Brookman sells lots of firearms for self-defense and says he believes people do assume the responsibility and are more careful so, they're not a target for the bad guys. He says the unaware people are the ones who are targeted.

"People who do decide to go along the lines of self-protection they become much more aware because theres a responsibility with that. There's a high responsibility when you arm yourself," Brookman said.

Police and gun owners alike would relate owning a gun to learning how to drive. Would someone get behind the wheel of a car without any knowledge, training or preparation?

Police say it is hard to say whether these two statistics are related but the bottom line is to train yourself so something bad does not happen.

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