Washington – The legal sale of firearms in the United States doubled in the last 10 years prompting optimism among manufacturers and sellers of weapons you see in this phenomenon a palliative for a stagnant economy.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), January 2011 to date, the total background checks for potential gun buyers in the United States totaled 16.4 million, the highest number in 10 years, a growing trend begun in 2002 when the figure was 8.4 million. The background check conducted by the FBI is the only official indicator used to calculate the number of guns sold in U.S. stores federally licensed to sale arms.
“Never have so many weapons been in the possession of U.S. civilians as today. The fact is the rate of crimes are at the lowest point in our live time and the number of accidents that have resulted in deaths by firearms has never been so low, “said Lawrence Keane Reform, Legal Vice National Foundation Shooting Sports (NSSF, for its acronym in English), an organization that brings together most of the country’s arms manufacturers.
According to recent FBI data, published in 2011, the United States reported in 2010 Violent crime rate was the lowest since 1972 (403.7 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants). However, there are no statistics on accidents with firearms.
According to Keane, the increase in sales was due to four factors: first-time buyers who want to exercise their right to buy weapons, fear of a weak economy increases the uncertainty, soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, and greater a love of hunting.
“Between 20 and 25 percent of buyers are people who are buying for the first time a gun,” said Keane. “Right now many people are buying guns for self defense, which can be concealed or hidden. We are also seeing many 22 caliber rifles sales, which are purchased by recreational shooters, “said Todd Vance Reforma, the owner of Vance Outdoors, a gun shop in Columbus, Ohio.
Approval in the last 15 years in almost all the states, except Illinois and the District of Columbia, laws allowing the carrying of “concealed” weapons has been the motivating factor, for more individuals particularly women, to buy guns, according to vendors. Therefore the arms industry boasts a live boom amid the economic crisis. “I think 2011 was a record year for many people (at the armories). It’s hard to say now (which ended in January), but I think that all indicators show that we are seeing (2012) will be another good year for the arms industry, “concluded Vance.
Just last October, Gallup reported that 47 percent of Americans agreed to have a gun in their home, the highest reading by the firm since 1993. He also noted that only 26 percent of the population are in favor of legislation to control short arms sales, the lowest measurement since 1959. “The legal sales do not affect Mexico.’
Sellers of guns in the U.S. say the increase in legal sales of guns in the U.S. does not affect the level of violence in Mexico. I do not think weapons that are trafficked to Mexico are bought through stores (weapons). I’m not saying you can not go into a store and buy an AK and take it to Mexico, but I think the percentage is extremely low, “said Todd Vance.
Federal authorities at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Fire arms (ATF) estimates that most of the weapons seized from organized crime in Mexico from the United States. However, marketers believe that the Government inflated the estimates to restrict the possession and carrying of weapons.
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- Legal U.S. gun sales to Mexico arming cartels (cbsnews.com)