The congress critters from Connecticut are proposing that everyone in the nation who owns a pistol will have to have a pistol purchase permit. Applicants would have to submit to background checks and fingerprinting, prove they’re at least 21 and a lawful U.S. resident, and be eligible to purchase a handgun under federal law.
The Connecticut lawmakers are claiming that a state law passed in 1995 that is similar to this is associated with a 40% in gun homicides in the first ten years it was in place. Let’s fact check that claim, shall we?
All numbers that follow according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, as accessed here.
The law took effect on October 1, 1995. So we will begin with the murder rate in 1995:
In 1995, 4.6 murders per 100,000
In 2005, 3 murders per 100,000. This rate is 34.8% lower than 1995. So they are correct, there was a significant reduction in the murder rate over that ten year period.
Lets see if this was due to the law, or if this was a nationwide trend. We will compare these numbers to the nationwide statistics as a control.
In 1995, the murder rate for the US was 8.2 per 100,000. In 2005, the rate was 5.9 per 100,000, or 28.2% lower than 1995.
This would seem to indicate that Connecticut had a slightly larger reduction reduction in the murder rate than the rest of the nation experienced. Then it occurred to me: Why stop in 2005? Why not go all the way to 2013?
The US had a rate of 4.5 per 100,000 in 2013. This rate is 45.2% lower than 1995, and 23.8 percent lower than 2005.
Connecticut had rate of 2.4 murders per 100,000 in 2013. That is 48 percent lower than 1995, and 20 percent lower than 2005.
In other words, this gun control law had little, if any impact on murder rates. In fact, the trend of reduction becomes even less significant when we compare Connecticut to s state with similar population, but lax gun control laws.
Kentucky had a murder rate of 7.2 in 1995.
In 2005, the rate was 4.6, or 36.2% lower.
In 2013, the rate was 3.8, which is 47.3% lower than 1995, and 27.4% lower than 2005.
In other words, Kentucky saw a larger decrease in their murder rate than did Connecticut, and without passing any gun control laws. The US murder rate also sharply declined during the same period.
However, when you graph the above data points, you see that the slopes are identical. The differences between them are statistically insignificant.