Gun rights proponents not surprised by Vermont’s low murder rate

Vernon Vermont Police Department

SAFE IN VERMONT: Vermont is known for having few restrictions on guns yet some of the lowest murder rates in the nation.

Despite the pervasive fear among many Americans that more guns equals more crime, statistics show that gun-freedom states like Vermont are among the safest places to live.

At 1.8 murders per 100,000 residents, Vermont ranks third in the U.S. for low murder rates. The state is well below the national average of 4.9, according to a report by

The recent study examines five years of FBI data from 2013 to 2017 for each state. All three of the lowest murder rates were states from New England.

The states with highest murder rates are as follows:

Louisiana (11.1)
Mississippi (8.0)
Missouri (7.9)
Maryland (7.6)
Alabama (7.4)

The lowest murder rates were found in the following states:

New Hampshire (1.2)
Maine (1.7)
Vermont (1.8)
Hawaii (2.0)
Minnesota (2.0)

Gun rights activist Chris Bradley, president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, told True North that the Green Mountain State’s ranking this year is just more proof that gun freedom and ownership works to keep everyone safe and respectful to each other.

“This is a consistent story, and when we take a look at what the logical reasons are for that, we see a very high rate of gun ownership across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont,” he said. “We also have what has been historically very constitutionally aware laws concerning gun ownership. It’s only in recent years that gun ownership has started to be looked at legislatively.”

He noted that New York and Massachusetts have restrictive gun laws, and the murder rates there are higher than in Vermont — 3.1 and 2.1 per 100,000 residents, respectively.

“Uniform crime statistics published by the FBI make it very clear that laws that have traditionally governed Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, are working to keep violent crime low,” he said. “So this is not a surprise to us.”

He said for the rest of the country as a whole, researchers find less crime where there gun ownership is high.

“More people are buying guns and there are more guns out there than ever before,” he said. “At the same time, we have seen a steady decrease in violent crime across the country. So how can we not look at this and say this is more than a coincidence?”

According to a 2019 study by, roughly one-third of Vermonters own a gun. That study puts Vermont at No.2 for the safest in the nation concerning the overall crime rate.

Other observations from the SafeWise study include that the U.S. as a whole is much safer compared to much of the rest of the world. Two of the most dangerous nations are Honduras, with a murder rate per 74.6 per 100,000 residents, and El Salvador, with 64.2. Both nations prohibit civilian gun ownership.

Some states are known for being less safe. Louisiana not only has the highest overall murder rate in the nation, at 11.1 per 100,000 residents, but it also has all four metro areas that show the highest murder rates — New Orleans-Metairie at 17.6, Baton Rouge at 11.6, Lafayette at 7.7, and Shreveport-Bossier City at 9.6.

New Hampshire and North Dakota had the biggest reduction in their murder rates; each saw a 41 percent drop from 2013 to 2017.

On demographics, the age group with the highest murder rate was young men between ages 20 and 29.

Part of the study includes a survey on people’s perception of murder as a threat. It found that despite the fact that Americans face a very low chance of getting murdered, nearly 50 percent of citizens worry about violence.

“Perhaps our nation’s obsession with true crime has led us towards excessive paranoia,” the report states. “Perhaps we need to shift our focus from paranoia to prevention in order to lower our murder rates even further.”

Women are most worried about murder. Half of all women are afraid of being killed by a stranger and 26 percent are afraid of being killed by someone they know.

According to FBI data, that perception is largely the opposite of reality. Murder by a stranger is very rare, just 9.7 percent of all murders. The vast majority of murders are committed by someone close to the victim, usually a family member or a friend.

A further breakdown includes: “40.3 percent of murder victims in 2017 were killed by family or ‘other known’ relations, 12.3 percent were murdered by family members, and 28 percent were murdered by other familiar relations. Employees and six employees killed by their employers.”

The study offers tips to avoid situations that commonly lead to murder. One of them is don’t closely associate with those in the criminal world.

“The FBI reported over 2,000 homicides in 2017 in conjunction with unlawful activity,” it states. “Like we mentioned before, murder victims are more likely to know their killer, so it’s best to avoid interacting with those who participate in criminal activity.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Public domain and Vernon Police Department

9 thoughts on “Gun rights proponents not surprised by Vermont’s low murder rate

  1. Still waiting for a Article on S14, from 2015 when Vermont Legislation illegally removed many VT residents firearms rights.

    • Alex

      Of the intolerable gun laws passed and signed into law by Gov. Scott the red flag law which has already harmed one gentleman’s right’s,that Vermonters are aware of,is the worst of the lot however all are un Constitutional.

      We must first understand the Bill of Rights are a list of the preclusions that the government has a duty to not infringe upon as the founders conceived of them,before a discussion of the government infringing on them can take place

      Red Flag or in Orwellian speak Gun Violence Restraining Orders is the total destruction of all rights,thus complete subversion of the Constitution both federal and state.
      Just a quick count that I can think of off the top,it violates the 2nd.4 th. 5th.6 th. 14 th. and most likely a few other amendments to the Constitution.

      The founders would be ashamed that their progeny would be willing to hand over to a out of control government,that they pledged their lives fortune and sacred honor to secure for the future generations,Freedom and Liberty.

      We delegated to Congress the following Enumerated Powers over the Country at Large:

      Article I, § 8, clauses 1-16 delegate to Congress the powers:

      (1) To lay certain taxes;

      (2) To pay the debts of the United States;

      (3) To declare war and make rules of warfare, to raise and support armies and a navy and to make rules governing the military forces; to call forth the militia for certain purposes, and to make rules governing the militia;

      (4) To regulate commerce with foreign Nations, and among the States, and with the Indian Tribes;

      (5) To establish uniform Rules of Naturalization;

      (6) To establish uniform Laws on Bankruptcies;

      (7) To coin money and regulate the value thereof;

      (8) To fix the standard of Weights and Measures;

      (9) To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting;

      (10) To establish post offices and post roads;

      (11) To issue patents and copyrights;

      (12) To create courts inferior to the supreme court; and

      (13) To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the Laws of Nations.

      Other provisions of Our Constitution delegate to Congress powers over the Country at Large to make laws regarding:

      (14) An enumeration of the population for purposes of apportionment of Representatives and direct taxes (Art. I, § 2, cl. 3);

      (15) Elections of Senators & Representatives (Art. I, §4, cl. 1) and their pay (Art. I, § 6);

      (16) After 1808, to prohibit importation of slaves (Art. I, § 9, cl. 1); 2

      (17) After 1808, to restrict migration (immigration) to these United States (Art. I, §9, cl. 1);

      (18) A restricted power to suspend Writs of Habeas Corpus (Art. I, §9, cl. 2);

      (19) To revise and control imposts or duties on imports or exports which may be laid by States (Art. I, § 10, cl. 2 &3)

      (20) A restricted power to declare the punishment of Treason (Art. III, §3, cl. 2);

      (21) Implementation of the Full Faith and Credit clause (Art. IV, §1); and,

      (22) Procedures for amendments to The Constitution (Art. V).

      Anything outside of those enumerated powers is outside of the wheel house of a Constitutional government.
      90% of what occurs in congress is out side of the Constitution and thus extra Constitutional and not within the preview of congress to legislate,thus un Costitutional.

  2. It should be amply clear to everyone that gun control is not at all about lowering crime, but about disarming citizens, and thereby controlling them. Just as schools being gun-free zones are not at all about saving the lives of children, but about indoctrinating them that guns are “bad.” I’d go as far as to say, and I am not alone, that far-left gun free zones cost the lives of many children, and it is those forcing these policies on schools who should be prosecuted, not gun manufacturers. No rational thinker could look at the facts, such as those outlined in this article and conclude that fewer armed citizens means fewer crimes committed with guns. Left wing radical politicians, such as Martin Lalonde and Philip Baruth like to prattle on about “common-sense” gun laws, but this article shows how phony their claim of common sense is. Their true belief is the Second Amendment and Vermont’s equivalent right should be abolished. They are from the political party that thinks it knows better than you how you should live, and that they should have the power to make sure you live that way. The bottom line is voting for democrats is the same as voting to be their slave.

    • You can’t instill socialism on a “Armed” citizenry….the first step is removing the guns,
      the second step is communism…which will destroy the guns…

    • Robert is correct,the Lefts goal is to destroy the Second Amendment because the citizenry’s exercise of the right to keep and bear arms, codified in the Second Amendment, operates as an existential threat to the ultimate goal they wish to achieve: absolute control of the population and subjugation of the citizenry.

  3. Goes to show that people kill people. Some use guns others use different methods to accomplish that end. I’ve often wondered why these anti gun fanatics who are outraged by the many gun related fatalities go after gun manufacturers. If that logic applies, I suggest those who are concerned about automotive related deaths go after the auto makers. Just doesn’t add up. Oh well, one has to make allowances for muddled thinkers.

  4. Not surprised at all,how was it Robert A. Heinlein put it,ah yes
    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

    Robert A. Heinlein

    Anyone with a thought of harm of a fellow Vermonter,must have at least the passing thought of any Tom,Dick and Harriet can and could be armed in Vermont,or perhaps a average criminal is not quite that reflective.

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