The FBI released their Uniform Crime Report for 2018 and it shows that of the known types of firearms that were used in homicides, handguns were used to kill more people than any kind of rifles.
People using knives and blunt objects also killed more people than rifles.
In 2018, of the known types of firearms that were used in homicides, 6,603 people were killed with handguns. Rifles only accounted for 297 murders, with shotguns killing 235.
Knives or other cutting instruments were used to kill 1,515 people. Blunt objects, such as clubs and hammers, were used to kill 443 people. Hands, fists, and feet killed 672 people.
It is important to note of the 2,963 people who were killed with guns, it was not known what type of firearm that was used.
“Once again, the FBI’s data on violent crime seriously undercuts common gun control narratives," Amy Swearer, Heritage Foundation's senior legal policy analyst, told Townhall. "Despite the never-ending assertion that we are in the midst of a gun violence crisis, the number of gun-related homicides fell in 2018, and the gun-related homicide rate remains roughly 50 percent of what it was at its peak in the early 1990s. Rifles of any kind – 'assault weapon' or otherwise – were definitively used in only 2.8 percent of gun homicides last year."
In total, 14,123 people were killed with firearms in 2018, which is down from 15,195 in 2017 and 15,318 in 2016. The number of people killed with rifles is also down from 2017, where they were used to kill 390.
"That’s not an anomaly, but a consistent finding year after year that indicates semi-automatic rifles are simply not the 'mass killing tools' gun control advocates often make them out to be," Swearer said.
The FBI data on firearm deaths is important as the issue of if AR-15s and similar types of rifles should be banned continues to intensify as Democratic presidential candidates have called for outright bans and buybacks because of the deaths in mass shootings.
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke has even called for the confiscation of AR-15s and AK-47s because "we’re not going to allow it to be used on fellow Americans anymore."
Donna Edwards, a former Democratic Maryland congresswoman, falsely asserted to MSNBC in early September that mass shooters are "getting these automatic rifles, they're using high capacity ammunition, and they're killing, they're mowing down hundreds, thousands of people every single year."
Automatic rifles, which are capable of firing more than one round per trigger pull, are heavily regulated under the 1986 National Firearms Act and are very expensive to purchase when compared to semi-automatic firearms. "High capacity ammunition" is a firearm feature that does not exist.
"It’s unfortunate that so many well-intentioned people continue to be so completely misinformed about basic factual realities related to gun violence," Swearer said.