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WI – HUNTING – Survey says firearms deer hunting leads to less violence

Deer hunters are killers, but not of each other or their neighbors. That’s what the research says, anyway. Ball State economics professor Paul Niekamp looked at the relationship between violent crime and deer hunting seasons in 21 states over 20 years. He recently released the results of that work. He titled his study “Good Bang for the Buck: Effects of Rural Gun Use on Crime.” Deer seasons, Niekamp said, are unique — “unparalleled by any other policy in existence” — in arming people across rural America. Each year, more than 10 million Americans, about 18 percent of all American gun owners, use firearms to hunt deer during restricted dates. “There are no other policies that induce 600,000 Wisconsin males or 530,000 Michigan males to systematically and temporarily carry and use firearms,” he said. Yet, examining crime statistics from peak hunting days did not show any spikes in violence. In fact, the opposite is true. Niekamp determined there are roughly 12 percent fewer violent crimes on the first two days of firearm season than otherwise in rural areas. At the same time, the study also found that alcohol-related arrests of juvenile males fall by 22 percent and narcotic offenses fall by 15 percent at the start of hunting season. That, he said, suggests firearm hunting may have “positive effects on behavior.” “The results of this paper provide strong evidence that enormous increases in recreational long gun prevalence are not associated with any increase in violent crime,” he said. “In the least populous areas, where long gun prevalence increased 530 percent, estimates suggest that male violent crime actually decreased.”  [full article]

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