Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (AP Photo/John O'Connor, File)
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By Salam Fatohi

Tracking crime statistics – and more importantly, whether or not crime is rising or falling in the United States – is getting harder to do. That’s because nearly a third of America’s cities are no longer reporting crime statistics to the FBI.

This is more than just a problem for policymakers looking for data to address the cities most in need of assistance. It also means that some policymakers are demanding bad policy because they’re relying on incomplete data.

The Marshall Project reported that 31 percent of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. failed to report crime data to the FBI’s national database after transitioning to a new data collection system, according to the latest statistics from the FBI. That’s a slight improvement from 2021, when 40 percent of law enforcement agencies didn’t report crime data. Still, it’s a glaring blind spot, especially when that data is missing from some of the largest metro areas dealing with rampant, out-of-control crime.

Courtesy The Marshall Project

Many of those cities also happen to be led by the loudest voices calling for gun control, defunding police and soft-on-crime policies. The trifecta means that gun control politicians are missing a third of the crime picture yet demanding 100 percent of the gun control. Typical behavior for zealots who favor government control over individual freedom.

Biggest Offenders

Just 24 percent of New York’s police departments sent their crime data to the FBI. That’s a failing grade in anyone’s book. That includes New York City’s Police Department, along with neighboring Suffolk, Nassau and Westchester County police. Just 141 of the 583 New York police agencies reported data in 2022.

Pennsylvania was worse, with just nine percent of police departments reporting crime data to the FBI. Only 126 of the 1,392 police agencies reported their statistics. Missing were Pittsburgh, Allentown and Scranton.

Maryland police agencies reported just 38 percent of the time, with 65 of the 170 police departments failing to send the FBI crucial crime data. Departments surrounding Washington, D.C., which has been plagued by crime, didn’t submit any data, including Anne Arundel County and Howard County near Baltimore. Other surrounding communities including Montgomery County and Prince George’s County submitted just two months of data.

California came in with just 49 percent – less than half – of police agencies sending crime statistics to the FBI. The Marshall Project reported that 44 states and the District of Columbia had higher reporting rates than California. Only 356 of the 721 police agencies in the Golden State submitted crime data to the FBI. Missing from that list were reports from the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, San Fransisco, San Jose, Oakland, Riverside, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and both the San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Office and Police Department.

Illinois crime data submitted to the FBI in 2022 was only slightly better, with 52 percent of police agencies reporting. There, 464 of the 885 law enforcement agencies submitted data. Chicago’s Police Department fully reported but neighboring Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Du Page County Sheriff’s Office didn’t report any data. Cook County Sheriff’s Office reported just one month’s worth of data.

New Jersey tied Illinois for percentage of law enforcement agencies reporting data at 52 percent. Just 301 of the 574 law enforcement agencies sent the FBI crime data for 2022. Paterson, Woodbridge, Edison, Clifton, Trenton and Camden Police Departments didn’t send the FBI any crime data in 2022.

Crime scene investigation
(Roger Nomer/The Joplin Globe via AP)

To be fair, the worst was Florida, with just eight percent of law enforcement agencies reporting their 2022 crime data to the FBI. That represents only 49 of the 633 police agencies in the Sunshine State. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office didn’t report any crime data to the FBI that year. Neither did Orlando’s Police Department or Fort Lauderdale Police Department.

Common Threads

Apart from Florida, there’s a common thread among the states with the lowest reporting of crime data to the FBI. These are also states that host cities with headline-grabbing criminal episodes and public officials reluctant to crack down on criminals. They aren’t shy, though, in calling for gun control.

New York’s Gov. Kathy Hochul was all too willing to sign into law a package of gun control bills after New York’s restrictive concealed carry laws were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision. Those laws are even more confusing and crippling than before, including measures zoning off entire swaths of the state as “sensitive places” to deny permit holders from carrying concealed firearms.

The state plans on enforcing ammunition background checks, too which can’t be completed by the FBI. Meanwhile, George Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg admitted that crime is so bad in New York City that he’s afraid to ride the subway.

Alvin Bragg
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Pennsylvania’s Gov. Josh Shapiro has never been shy about demanding more gun control. Yet, he’s been silent about his own failures to address rampant crime when he was the Commonwealth’s attorney general. Instead of demanding tougher action from soft-on-crime district attorneys like District Attorney Larry Krasner, he closed ranks with him demanding gun control but is silent on criminals walking free.

Maryland’s Gov. Wes Moore recently took office and signed laws restricting where concealed carry permit holders could be armed and raised fees for those permits. He said at the time, “In Maryland, we refuse to say these problems are too big or too tough. We will act, and that’s exactly what today represents.”

On crime, though, state lawmakers are still going soft, even proposing a bill earlier this year that would block felony murder charges for anyone under 25.

California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would gut the right of the people to keep and bear arms. He’s still blaming guns while residents in San Francisco and Los Angeles are being crushed by criminals.

Illinois’ Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law early this year to ban the most commonly-owned semiautomatic rifle in America – the AR-15 – blaming guns for crime there. That law is being challenged by NSSF. He’s expected to sign a new law banning First Amendment-protected Free Speech by banning firearm ads that might be attractive to minors, despite the blatant unconstitutionality of that idea.

Gov. Pritzker is quick to blame the firearm industry and attack Second Amendment rights, along with First Amendment rights. Criminals, though, are a different matter. He signed a law, which was upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court, to end cash bail in the Land of Lincoln. Critics warn that this puts dangerous and violent criminals back on the streets.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)

New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy attempted to throttle firearm sales during the COVID-19 pandemic until he was forced by the courts to relent. He signed laws to allow frivolous lawsuits against the firearm industry for crimes committed by remote third parties. That law was challenged by NSSF and enjoined while the case is heard.

The first step in correcting problems is to identify the problems. When cities fail to report their crime statistics, it leads to a false sense of progress. The crime isn’t going away, just the reporting. These politicians aren’t solving problems by ignoring missing reports to the FBI. They’re only sweeping the problems under a rug of gun control demands.


Salam Fatohi is Manager, Legislative and Policy Research for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. 

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  1. GIGO strikes again.

    It is amazing how that archaic phrase doesn’t enter the conversation much, anymore.

    • Yeah I was wondering why we were lower on shooting incidents when the number has climbed locally every year. I thought part of getting access to federal grants required such reporting but I was never on the request/justification side of grant proposals so mildly surprised and going with a mix of malice and incompetence for those involved as my guess.

      • You forget just who is in charge of the federal government (i.e.) DOJ, FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (yes it’s real). The Federal Department in charge of compiling the numbers. What is going on is no different than the DOJ and Liberal Prosecutors all over the nation not charging, trying or holding criminals accountable. As a means to lower the numbers, in an effort to manipulate the citizenry into believing that the crime rates are lowering. Fortunately more and more people aren’t falling for the lies being told by the Liberals and Progressives in control of state, local and the federal government As they see and live the explosion of crime in their towns, cities and neighborhoods. It brings to mind the old saying: “Don’t be pissing down my leg and trying to tell me it’s raining”.

  2. “…state lawmakers are still going soft, even proposing a bill earlier this year that would block felony murder charges for anyone under 25.”


    • Oh, you know, kids will be kids. Billy the Kid comes to mind – wouldn’t want to stifle a young energetic fellow now, would we?

    • The libertarians liberals and the left and the atheists. They all disagreed with the christians. When the christians said a father is necessary in the home.

      The father, his love and discipline were replaced by a government welfare check. And the father’s guns were replaced. By the guns of a big city police department.

  3. That makes it a whole lot easier for the FBI to make up the data that they like – this is by design.

    • Or the states are legalizing crime, just like Kalifornia where theft up to nearly $1000 won’t result in arrest.

      And businesses closing after so much crime can be blamed on systemic racism.

    • “That makes it a whole lot easier for the FBI to make up the data that they like – this is by design.”

      That is almost certainly the reason.Make up anything you want. And when no policing is done, or the perps just returned to the streets for more fun and games, the general populace will insist something be done. At that point, the good commie leftists will determine that it is the guns that are the problem, not the violent criminals.

      Oh, yeah- them guns just goin’ out there commiting murder and mayhem on their own.

      • “Oh, yeah- them guns just goin’ out there commiting murder and mayhem on their own.”

        Sometimes, I despair at the sophomoric attitudes (intelligence?), of people who comment here. What don’t you get about settled science? If law-abiding people had no guns, there would be no violent crime, anywhere!

        • “…If law-abiding people had no guns, there would be no violent crime, anywhere!”

          What crazy farm did you just escape from? That claim is a special kind of stupid!

  4. They’re all understaffed now. Hell, probably dont have anybody to compile it and do the data entry to send it in etc

      • That’s better than the eight videos he spammed yesterday, in ONE ARTICLE.

        (Now watch the jerk-off respond with a crying laughter emoji, showing he’s nothing more than the male deb-the-dunce… 🙁 )

        • @Geoff “I’m getting too old for this shit”

          “(Now watch the jerk-off respond with a crying laughter emoji, showing he’s nothing more than the male deb-the-dunce… 🙁 )”

          and I’m not spamming anything. Its news, its commentary, it pertains to or is associated with or indicative of or has to do with in some aspect with what affects the truth about guns and our constitutional rights and if it remains purely on youtube it doesn’t get disseminated like it should and that’s what we should be doing – showing the lying, tyrannical, underhanded, anti-constitutional, hypocrisy nature of the attempts to remove constitutional rights from Amercians especially the 1st and second amendment rights.

          So I can write text to say it or simply post a video that already says it, instead of writing text that will most likely go into moderation limbo whereas links to youtube videos tend to not go into moderation .

          If someone objects to it they are free to scroll past it.

          But, on the other hand this spamming whole comment sections with this non-sense you and others have going for Deb with the inter-personal angst vitrol arguing back and forth slinging insults at each other between ya’ll is not doing anything to help.

        • i remember the day you progressed from links to embed. i’m acutely aware that you are not going to “calm down” (force to be reckoned with, respect).
          “If someone objects to it they are free to scroll past it.”
          ’nuff sed.

  5. I’m inclined more to believe those reporting over-report by 1/3 more than there actually is. One of the significant reasons the USA has suffered the all-dysfunctional “gun control” for almost 100 years now. I wouldn’t put it past the FBI to pad the stats to accommodate more gun control at the same time.

    • It’s a fine line bureaucracy must walk to justify more resources yet not appear so incompetent you get restructured.

  6. They people who hate cops are intellectually dishonest people.
    Every society will have law enforcement. What matters is what form it will take.

    • Having a soldier as your permanent local law enforcement is tyranny. The founders would be rolling in their graves.

  7. This is elected officials and their minions refusing to do their jobs. People that should be ousted out of office regardless of any other variable.

    The thing is…they are all America hating leftists.

  8. The USSR used to lie about the crime and open drug use as well. In those “utopias,” The Socialist/Communist want the same “utopia” here as well.

  9. Don’t worry. In the Democrat controlled areas you will still be able to seduce children. You will still be able to use drugs in public. You can perform any sex act in public.
    There will be no need for public or private bathrooms. Because you’ll be able to legally do all you business infront of everyone.

    Your wildest pleasures you’ve ever dreamed of having. Will become true in the Democrat controlled parts of the USA.
    It’s all “an equal trade” you see. In exchange for your 2A civil rights.

    • “So we can’t rely on FBI crime stats when arguing a point on the forum?”

      ‘There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.’
      – M. Twain

    • no name,

      I’d be interested in seeing the stats of reporting percentages over time. If this represents a significant change in the percentage of local LEOs reporting, that would certainly make any time comparison clearly NOT “apples to apples”. If it is remaining near the same, the stats would still reveal trends, even if the ‘absolute’ numbers are garbage.

      But, what is our alternative? I thought the Feds had made it a requirement to get Fed funds for local LEOs that they had to report crime stats to the Fibbies, but apparently I was mistaken.

      • ” …what is our alternative?”

        Make up facts and figures, and post them as irrefutable truth.

        (Also know as the “Liar69er/Asshole dacian methodology”)

    • “So we can’t rely on FBI crime stats when arguing a point on the forum?”

      How to win the next election –

      Propose the “Accurate Crime Reporting to the FBI” law, and then pass it, when elected.

      also –

      “Meanwhile, George Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg admitted that crime is so bad in New York City that he’s afraid to ride the subway.”

      Sounds like a “Public officials are required to use the public transport they deem acceptable for the little people to ride” would be another winning platform to run an election on… 🙁

    • We never could rely on FBI crime stats… and the reason is they are never truly reflective of the crime ‘environment’ in the country because their stats are:

      1. Composed of only those who report.

      2. Composed of those which were convicted and there is only an overall conviction rate of less then 9% nationwide.

      3. In cases of arrest stats … they are not reliable because they reflect a combination of false arrests, missing arrests, and arrests not reported.

      4. They don’t include crimes for which there is no suspect caught AND arrested – the overall arrest rate nationwide is only ~10% meaning, nationwide, ~90% of criminals are never caught and arrested and convicted meaning roughly ~90% of crime never appears in stats.

  10. So much for the “Universal Background checks.” I’ve said it before I’ll say it again: THEY ARE USELESS.

  11. This is how the Clinton Admin FBI/DOJ was giving the “ILLUSION” crime was going down during that administration..

    All the major cities were not being reported in the FBI/DOJ crime statistics!!!!

  12. reporting to the fbi is different the tv reporting—if crime stats are down, the city appears safe–for the tourist trade.–this all started in nyc several decades ago–

  13. There is one category where the number of shootings/deaths in relation to crime is going up expediently every week. The number of criminals shot and killed by armed citizens during the commission of a crime, i.e. home invasion, burglary, robbery, domestic violence, mugging and carjacking. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

  14. Seems like we can’t rely on the fibs for anything but the occasional murder of harmless old and fat cranks or burning mothers and their kids in churches. So, why not just stop working with them altogether and find a POTUS with the cojones to end the neo-stasi?

  15. Apparently New York Attorney General Letitia James has had enough of the tyranny of Gov. Hochul when it comes to immigrants that crossed our borders from Mexico. For those that do not know, Hochul, when she gets through with this current case (if she wins) to expand the so called ‘right to shelter’ for the homeless she is using to house these immigrants flooding her state rather than American citizens which are homeless and if she wins Hochul plans to move onto force residents to take these immigrants into their homes and other private property and provide them shelter and basically support them and feed and cloth them. This is why this case is so important to Hochul >

    Counties outside New York City have used various means to block the city from relocating immigrants, including declaring states of emergency or barring hotels from providing temporary shelter to migrants. Hochul is suing them over it. If she can force hotels and other private property ‘facilities’ to house them she will be able to force all private property owners to house them.

    In her anti-Bruen temper tantrum she showed that she is willing to and will force upon private property owners, including for homes (e.g. apartment buildings and other private home dwellings) her will to require them to post signs to specifically allow or disallow carry of firearms by law abiding people. So she already considers private property to be subject to her will of tyranny and has already concluded that private property is hers to do with as she pleases so her precedent has already been set that she can determine what a private property owner will do if she demands it. Its just this case right now that’s keeping her from forcing private property owners from housing these immigrants and supporting them.

  16. Yet the NSSF is backing Redflag and Safe-storage laws rendering personal firearms inaccessible for.self-defenae and supported the Bi-partisan Safer Communities Act last year, never holding those Republicans who helped negotiate and push it through to become the worst anti-2A law to make it through to be signed by the president in decades.

    You and the Fudds at the NRA are both Negotiating our Rights Away and are just as bad as Newsome, Pritzker, and Hochel along with a of David.Hoggs in the end.

    • Then you should start your own gun-rights organization and show these amateur outfits exactly how it should be done.

      Your group will be able to sponsor legislation, fight lawsuits, donate money to candidates, promote safety programs, and be successful in every attempt at preventing any anti-2A legislation from ever being passed. Otherwise, if you don’t do everything perfectly and in the manner that each individual expects, you might receive a bit of criticism.

  17. i’ll give every illegal i house a pa-63 and tell them to stop any aliens that try to get in. probably have to give them the safe combo for that work.

  18. ‘Tis forever been the Liberal SOP. When the Dat doesn’t support your Hypothesis, they Ignore/Hide the Data.

  19. When you impose authoritarian gun control measures, when you defund the police, when you let hardened violent criminals out of the prisons, and play catch-and-release games with violent arrestees, NATURALLY crime is going up!!

    These cities are all run by anti-gun commiecrats and maybe a RINO somewhere in the mix, and their failed policies cannot be exposed, so you order the police chief to stop collecting crime stats. The communists among us are destroying our country!!

  20. First, this article is useless. It mentions the percentages of police agencies that report and don’t report within individual states, but doesn’t analyze which agencies those are. Is it because the state has more smaller police departments in low crime areas that don’t have the resources to spend time filing reports? Or is it the big cities that have become inundated with crime over the past few years?

    The article seems to assume it’s the latter, but without specifying, it’s just that: an assumption. And everyone knows what “assume” does right?

    The second problem I have is with the entire premise: Crime reports don’t come close to telling the whole story. Does a city with declining crime reports mean that there’s actually declining crime? Or that criminals aren’t being arrested and crime isn’t being punished so the citizens have just stopped reporting the crimes? I’ve seen quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that the latter is the case, especially in areas where the statistics say that property crimes have increased dramatically, while other crimes (assault, robbery, rape, etc) have declined.

    Is it because those other crimes have actually declined? Or is it because people still report property crimes so they can file a claim with their insurance, but other crimes that don’t involve an insurance payout go unreported because the victims have little hope of justice being done (not to mention fear that the unpunished criminal may take offense to their reporting of the crime)?

    As someone above commented: Garbage In, Garbage Out. If the statistics being reported are inaccurate to begin with, it really doesn’t matter how many cities are reporting them and how many are not. It’s all meaningless.

  21. “If the statistics being reported are inaccurate to begin with, it really doesn’t matter how many cities are reporting them and how many are not. It’s all meaningless.”

    Seems the intent of the report was/is to simply highlight that the represented statistics cannot be used to “prove” anything; not to analyze why the data set is what it is, who is responsible, or how to “fix” it.

    For most people, if data and statistics “prove” their agenda is superior, no questions about the data and statistics are asked, or allowed to be asked. If ones agenda is not supported by data and statistics, the data and statistics are bogus; the winner will make pariahs of the losers and their data.

    Politics is everything; everything is politics.

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