The number of licensed gun owners in Massachusetts has declined by more than a quarter in the past six years, a falloff driven by restrictive laws, higher licensing fees, and cultural change, according to police officers and gun owners.
The drop is especially dramatic in the eastern part of the state and in urban areas. The number of licensed gun owners fell at least 30 percent in Boston, Springfield, Quincy, Fall River, and Waltham. It dropped at least 20 percent in more than 220 of the state’s 351 communities.
Fewer firearms on the street makes life safer for everyone,” said Robert F. Crowley, Quincy’s police chief.
In Boston, the number of licensed owners fell from 7,577 in 2001 to 4,374 this year, a drop of 42 percent. In the same period, gun licenses in Cambridge dropped 25 percent to 782; 71 percent to 484 in Brookline, and 33 percent to 1,150 in Newton, state records show.
“We’re pleased that the number of gun owners has decreased in our city, but the real issue is illegal guns, and we need more laws to deal with illegal guns in our cities,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston said in a statement.
Here is one of the contributors to that reduced number of gun owners:
Edward Arsenault, 70, of Fairhaven, was turned down for his license renewal earlier this year because he had been convicted in juvenile court of stealing a chicken from a chicken coop when he was 9 years old, in 1946.
With a 30% decline in the number of gun owners one should expect the number of “gun crimes” should decrease by a similar amount wouldn’t you think (at least if you were a rational gun-control advocate)? But of course they aren’t reporting on that or even hinting that anyone has considered that line of thinking. A quick scan of the FBI’s UCR didn’t yield the information I wanted so I’ll just leave it as “interesting” they didn’t report on the dramatic drop in crime compared to other states that didn’t put so much effort into eradicating gun owners.