Rome, 24 February 2017 – It’s impossible to scientifically prove there is any link between the availability of firearms and the severity of gun control legislation on the one hand, and the number of homicides committed with firearms in any particular country on the other. These are the findings of an independent study carried out by the Department of Criminology of the University of Liege on the “Factors that affect the number of homicides committed with firearms.”
The aim of the study was to establish any links between the number of homicides committed with firearms, ownership of firearms and the severity of gun control legislation. It was conducted on the basis of precise technical statistics taking a sample of 52 countries identified in consideration of three fundamental elements: the population, political regime and the absence of conflict within the country’s borders.
Funded by the World Forum on Shooting Activities (WFSA), the study was conducted independently by Professor Michael Dantinne and researcher Sophie André in the prestigious Belgian University of Liege. The study found there is no scientific proof that stricter gun control laws and a reduction in the number and type of legally owned firearms has any effect on the number of homicides, or criminal or terrorist activity.
The study, which will be presented next week at Nuremberg for the WFSA’s Public Meeting, can be downloaded from https://goo.gl/FD87le, and clearly shows that the number of homicides committed in a particular country depends mainly on the social-economic conditions in that country. In particular, the authors of the study emphasised that the infant mortality rate, a key element for assessing the conditions of poverty in a country, is the most significant criterion for analysing the data on the number of homicides committed.
“It’s important that there are such in-depth, independent scientific studies that can reassure institutions and public opinion on the very delicate question of the relationship between the legal ownership of firearms, homicides and criminal activity,” said Stefano Fiocchi, the President of ANPAM, the Italian Association of Manufacturers of Sporting and Civilian Firearms and Ammunition. “So, I welcome the study conducted by the prestigious Belgian University of Liege, which corroborates that neither the severity of gun control legislation, nor the legal ownership of firearms has a significant effect on the number of homicides committed in any single country. It goes without saying that any improper use of weapons must be strongly condemned.”
“From my point of view, these figures should be interpreted with the results of the recent scientific study carried out by Transcrime (Catholic University of Milan, which you’ll find at the following link http://fireproject.eu/). For the first time ever, this study provides us with objective data on the number of crimes committed using firearms in the countries of the European Union and it shows that, unlike the overblown estimates that had been circulating for years, in the European Union with a population of half a billion inhabitants, around 400 homicides are committed each year, and there is no link between more or less freedom to legally own arms,” added Fiocchi.
According to the President of ANPAM therefore, “it’s evident that continuous and excessive restrictions on the legal ownership of arms is not a successful strategy for fighting criminal activity, and Europe should instead focus its efforts on the real control of its territory and EEC borders.”
Comment of the team of all4shooters.com
With this study, we as sports shooters and hunters have further assured arguments in dealing with our political opponents, who do not want to understand that there is no relevant risk of legal gun ownership in any country under investigation. Of course it is sad that poverty creates social focal points and leads to a high infant mortality rate. It is a social tragedy that the homicide rate is also higher in such environments. We want to fight such developments and help wherever possible. With the help of the UN and with the help of national governments. These are the real challenges of a globalized world and not the tightening of national and international arms legislation. Even after the terrorist attacks of Nice and Berlin, which were carried out with trucks, there is no nonsensical discussion about whether it should be forbidden to drive a truck with a valid driver's license. Why then this totally unfounded attacks on legitimate gun owners? With full commitment for security and against crime and terrorism prevention: The legal gun ownership is not the problem. Great, that is now also impressively demonstrated in a serious study.