Coalitio nto Stop Gun Violence

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Firearms sales in Virginia are increasing while gun-related violent crimes are declining.

Federally licensed gun dealer sales show that firearms sales rose 16 percent in 2012 to a record 490,000 guns purchased.

During the same period, the number of major crimes committed with firearms dropped 5 percent to 4,378.

Virginia Commonwealth University assistant professor Thomas R. Baker specializes in research methods and criminology theory.

He says that the data indicate that more guns don't necessarily lead to more crime.