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Does Gun Ownership Deter Murder Rates?

Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Institute recently released a paper that showed a startling trend in murder rates. Murders are becoming increasingly concentrated within urban zip codes and streets, as opposed to being spread across the country. This begs the question: Does gun ownership play a role in deterring murders? Let’s take a look at what the data says.

The Study Findings

Dr. Lott’s research found that most murders occur within specific counties, and within those counties, the majority of the murders occur within specific zip codes and streets. He also noted the contrast between gun ownership and murder rates, where there appears to be an inverse relationship between them—the areas with higher levels of gun ownership had lower levels of murder. In comparison, those with fewer guns had higher levels.

What It Means For Us

So what does this mean for us as citizens? First, it dispels the notion that violence is a nationwide problem; instead, it shows us where we should focus our resources and attention to protect our communities from crime. Secondly, it shows us how powerful gun ownership can be in deterring would-be criminals from committing acts of violence. As more people obtain their concealed carry permits, crime appears to go down, meaning we all benefit from responsible gun owners taking responsibility for their safety.


The recent research by Dr. John Lott offers us some valuable insights into how we can tackle criminal activity locally and nationally. First, it shows us that violence isn’t always randomly distributed throughout our country; instead, it’s often extremely focused on certain zip codes or streets within cities or towns. What’s more interesting is how this contrasts with gun ownership—areas with higher levels of gun ownership have lower levels of criminal activity than those without them. This is evidence enough that Americans should have the right to bear arms when protecting themselves or their families from harm—and it could save lives in the process!

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