Gun ownership and homicide rates in Russia

Under the Soviet Union, private ownership of firearms was extremely restricted, but Russia has been gradually changing that policy.

Since 2007, gun ownership is up from 8.9 to 12.3 guns per 100 persons in 2017. That is still a small fraction of gun ownership numbers for the US.

At the same time, the homicide rate has dropped from 17.8 to 6.9 homicides per 100,000 persons in 2016. For reference, the US homicide rate was 5.3 in 2016.

One change is that Russian gun laws were amended to allow owning handguns for self defense starting in 2014:

Looks like more guns in the hands of the right people results in lower homicide rates.

At the same time deaths in mass shootings have increased:

From 2010 to 2019, the number of deaths in mass shootings has increase to 161, from 89 for the decade earlier. List of mass shootings in Russia - Wikipedia

The total number of homicides fell from about 270,000 to about 120,000. For every additional death in mass shootings there has been a reduction of 2000 deaths from homicide in general.

More guns appears to increase the number of mass shootings, but number of homicides is way down. Does concentrating on reducing deaths in mass shootings risk increasing the number of homicides?

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Since the only increase is in handguns I doubt it.

12.3 guns per person? I think you made a mistake putting down your numbers.

Yes, it is per 100 persons. I corrected the OP.

Interesting data…

The US is at 120.5 per 100 persons in 2017… Which homicide rates are you comparing? Overall homicide rates or homicides with guns?

The figures are overall homicide rates.

The expansion of lawful carry and user friendly self defense laws in the US has had the same effect. Our violent crime rates have dropped by over half since they started going into effect and spreading across the nation.

The correlation not causation game! I’ll play too!!!

Violent crime dropped because of better control of lead poisoning!

Violent crime dropped because of increased incarceration rates!

Violent crime dropped because of increased immigrant population!


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Problem is that we know from interviews with felons that they are deterred by even the suspicion someone might be carrying.

We also know that with more user friendly self defense laws law abiding citizens are more apt to act in their own defense because they don’t fear ending up in prison for a justified use of deadly force.

Word of mouth and conjecture? That’s not as much fun as spurious correlation.

There is absolutely no evidence that Crime reporting by Russian police has any basis in reality

It isn’t conjecture it’s the findings of two separate studies using completely different methodologies.

Links? Lets see those methodologies.

One done by Kleck, the other by Lott, both can be found on

A quick google takes you to this article citing Kleck and a DOJ study.

The US Government doesn’t agree with Kleck’s methodology which went into his conclusions. I’ll let them explain much more thoroughly than I.

John R Lott, Jr? Seriously? Let me post some vaccination/autism articles by the esteemed Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Similar credibility and unbiased views.

I don’t eally care what they think of it, the DOJ study and that of Lott produced similar results.

When criminals tell you that they are deterred by people who are armed which certainly has been the case in all three it’s pretty safe to accept that carry does deter crime.

I see. You don’t care about objectivity and reproducible results. Only what fits your agenda.

All three studies had similar results including the study done by the DOJ.

I can’t think of a better methodology than actually asking criminals about the effect of good guys with guns, can you?