Q&A of the Day – Florida's 48-year low in crime. More guns or the economy? 

Q&A of the Day – Florida’s 48-year low in crime. Due to more guns or a great economy? 

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry... 

I like the info and the stats going back in time. I am a gun owner and have a carry permit also, and agree that safe gun ownership and carry permit holders may reduce the amount of crime. But I also think that an improved economy over this same time period also contributes to reduced crime. More people working = less people stealing

Bottom Line:I received this note on back of my story last week, More people, more guns, less crime in Florida. In that story I shared the latest from FDLE showing that crime dropped an average of 9% statewide, with meaningful declines throughout South Florida, reaching a 48-year low. As I did last year, I also pulled the latest concealed carry permit information demonstrating 400,000 more Floridians have their permits over this time a year ago. The final point I illustrated ties into the economic question being posed in today’s question. Florida’s crime rate has dropped for eleven consecutive years. During that same period – ownership is up about 300% statewide. So, let’s dive in a little deeper on the economic case. 

Using data from the Police Executive Research Forum, which collaborates the reporting information of 233 police agencies nationally, recessions do cause an increase in crime. In 2009, during the depths of the Great Recession overall crimes reported increased across those agencies. Specifically, the two biggest increases were:

  • 32% increase in burglaries
  • 39% increase in robberies
  • 40% increase in stolen vehicles

That’s what makes my point so compelling, in my humble opinion... Not only are we seeing record gun ownership in Florida with fewer corresponding crimes. We’ve seen it for eleven consecutive years. Crime declined in 2008, the first year of the Great Recession, and has continued to decline every consecutive year. So, when the average location across the country was seeing a 32%-40% increase in property crimes, Florida was seeing a decline. I’m not sure how many years' worth of data is needed before it’s evidenced that more legal, responsible gun ownership corresponds with less crime but we’re at eleven and counting and that includes having gone through the worst economy since the Great Depression. 

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