Four times as many people were killed with a knife than with any kind of rifle in 2019, the FBI revealed in its Uniform Crime Report released late last month.
According to the UCR, 1,476 victims were murdered with “knives or cutting instruments,” whereas 364 people were killed with rifles, including the vague category of “assault rifles.”
More victims were also murdered by blunt objects like clubs and hammers, which resulted in 397 homicides in 2019.
The estimated number of violent crimes also decreased for the third consecutive year, according to a statement from the FBI. The estimated rate of violent crime was 366.7 per 100,000 people. There were roughly 1.2 million total violent crimes committed in 2019.
The FBI’s 2018 data showed that 1,515 people were killed with knives compared to 297 people with rifles.
The UCR Program gathers information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies. The list of violent crimes includes murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. It also collects data on property crimes, including burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.
Almost 19,000 federal, state, county, city, university, college and tribal agencies are eligible to participate in the UCR Program. Last year, 16,554 participating agencies submitted data for 2019.
The FBI’s data comes as Democrat candidate for president Joe Biden has vowed to establish a number of gun control measures if he wins the White House. According to Biden’s official website, he seeks to ban the manufacture and sale of “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines.
“Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets,” Biden’s website stated. “This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.”
Biden also supports the implementation of extreme risk laws, otherwise known as “red flag” laws. This would allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to remove an individual’s access to firearms if they deem the individual is a threat to themselves or others. While proponents of the laws, like Biden, claim the suspension of an individual’s access to firearms is “temporary,” one current “red flag” law in Virginia allows a judge to extend temporary suspensions indefinitely.
Legislation that “gives state and local governments grants to require individuals to obtain a license prior to purchasing a gun” is also on the table for a Joe Biden administration. He has also promoted “smart guns” capable of requiring a fingerprint match before use.
While “smart guns” aren’t yet available in the United States, the only all-in-one smart gun system on the market costs nearly $1,800 — similar pistols are a fraction of that cost at just $250 minimum.