A report published by the FBI on Monday shows that gun murders and other violent crimes continued to fall in 2014.
The FBI Crime in the United States report found 8,124 murders committed with firearms in 2014, down from 8,454 in 2013. That represents a 3.9 percent drop year over year and the lowest rate of any year included in the report.
The report found that, as in previous years, the vast majority of gun murders were committed with handguns, but all categories of gun murders declined.
Rifles were involved in 248 murders last year, fewer than the number committed with knives, blunt objects, and fists or feet. Three percent of gun murders involved rifles.
The overall murder rate declined by 1.2 percent year over year.
The downward trend extended to other crimes beyond murder. The overall violent crime rate was down 1 percent between 2013 and 2014. The rate of robbery and aggravated assault fell. The overall property crime rate decreased 5 percent in the same time period. The rates of burglary, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft all declined.
The rate at which rapes occur increased by 1.6 percent, however.
The decrease in most crimes during 2014 is a continuation of a decades-long trend in the United States. Both violent crime and property crime are down over 20 percent compared with 2005. Every category of violent and property crime has fallen in that period. The rate of rapes has decreased by 10.9 percent.
"The gun prohibition lobby and Michael Bloomberg and friends must be choking on this huge drop in homicides," said Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights organization. "They have been claiming that we have a ‘gun violence’ epidemic. What we have are a record number of new gun sales and owners over the past few years which has translated into more guns less violent crime."
"It is time for people like Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton to admit that guns save lives."