FBI Crime Report: Violent Crime, Homicides Up in 2015

FBI Crime Report: Violent Crime, Homicides Up in 2015

The 2015 FBI Uniform Crime Report was released Monday. Homicides with firearms are up, but primarily with handguns, not rifles or shotguns. [Dave Workman photo]
Murders were up sharply in 2015, jumping to 13,455 reported slayings, according to the 2015 FBI Uniform Crime Report, which was released Monday.

Homicides involving firearms were up, from the 8,124 posted in 2014 to 9,616 last year.

However, even with these dire spikes, the number of those slayings that involved rifles of any kind barely increased, leaving the gun prohibition without much of a launch pad for its renewed push to ban so-called “assault rifles.” Last year, 252 people were killed with rifles, which is only four more than were murdered with rifles the previous year, and this takes into account the victims of the December 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino.

Interestingly, if one were to subtract the homicides from just seven cities, the number would actually have been lower. Take away the 2015 murder counts for Chicago (468), New York (350), Baltimore (344), St. Louis (188), New Orleans (164), Milwaukee (145) and Newark (104) – a total of 1,763 slayings – and the increase would disappear leaving a lower number of killings overall than in 2014.

Last year saw 885 more murders committed with handguns than in 2014. Yet anti-gunners want to ban semi-automatic rifles.

One part of the puzzle is that last year, 596 more slayings were attributed to “other guns, type not identified” in the report.

According to the FBI report, last year saw a 3.9 percent increase in the number of violent crimes overall. Where murder is concerned, there are actually two numbers from the FBI. In a news report, the agency said there were an estimated 15,696 slayings in 2015, which is more than 2,000 additional deaths than listed in the report’s data.

But there is an explanation from Stephen G. Fischer, Jr., chief of Multimedia Productions in the FBI’s CJIS Division.

“Much of the data presented in the Crime in the United States publication are obtained from the Monthly Return of Offenses Known to Police form which is required to participate in the FBI UCR Program,” he said via e-mail. “Data cited from the FBI UCR (Uniform Crime Report) Program’s website regarding the age, sex, race, and ethnicity of the victim or the offender, circumstances during a homicide, weapon used, and the relationship of the victim to the offender are obtained from the Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR). Some agencies/states do not report SHR data to the FBI UCR Program and missing SHR data are not estimated. The SHR is not required to participate in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. In 2015 there were an estimated 15,696 murders in the United States. Of the 15,696 estimated murders an SHR was submitted for 13,455 of those murders.”


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