Gun related violent crime continues to drop in Virginia as the sales of firearms continue to soar, a pattern that one local criminologist finds interesting "given the current rhetoric about strengthening gun laws."Major gun crime collectively dropped for a fourth consecutive year statewide, while firearms sales climbed to a new record in 2012 with 490,119 guns purchased in 444,844 transactions a 16 percent rise over 2011, according to federally licensed gun dealer sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times Dispatch.The proliferation of guns occurred as the total number of major reported crimes committed with all types of firearms in Virginia dropped 5 percent, from 4,618 offenses in 2011 to 4,378 last year, according to Virginia State Police data.

More...