Gun crimes, suicides and firearms-related accidents declined last year at the same time that firearm and ammunition sales climbed, according to data from the US Treasury Department released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

While this revelation tends to debunk long-standing claims by gun control proponents that more guns in circulation leads to more crime, gun rights organizations contend that this bolsters their contention that armed citizens deter criminals.

NSSF Public Relations Director Steve Wagner told Gun Week that approximately 4.7 million new firearms were sold in America last year, including those manufactured domestically and imported. The greatest increase was in retail handgun sales, which were up 3%. Long gun sales were up 1.8%. Ammunition sales were up 3.5%.

Wagner specified that these figures represent dollars generated, not actual volume of firearms and ammunition sold.

However, the bottom line is that there are millions more firearms in circulation, which some gun control advocates have been arguing for years would result in more death and crime.

Said Wagner:

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