Data indicates that homicides and violent crimes in Washington State have significantly increased following restrictions on Second Amendment rights. A report disclosed a 16.6% increase in murders in 2022, amounting to 394 instances, the highest since record-keeping began in 1980 by the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs (WASPC). Meanwhile, the state experienced a decline in law enforcement officers, leading to the lowest per capita officer count in the nation. Despite a population increase, the number of officers fell, reaching a low of 1.36 per thousand in 2022, with a subsequent 20% rise in assaults on officers.
Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, cites these figures as evidence that stricter gun control measures, such as Initiatives 594 and 1639, have failed. He argues that they have led to “massive impairments” for law-abiding citizens, infringing on their rights while failing to curtail crime. Gottlieb posits that areas allowing unrestricted exercise of Second Amendment rights show lower crime rates. He also emphasizes that data from the Crime Prevention Research Center indicates the majority of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones.
Gottlieb suggests that areas restricting gun rights see higher crime rates and criticizes “legacy media” for perpetuating a gun-control narrative, arguing it obscures these correlations. He asserts that increased crime in the wake of gun control measures proves these laws ineffective and detrimental, and that the data supports the stance of gun rights advocates.