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Households With a Gun

Adults Owning a Gun

Adults Owning a Handgun

Percentage

40-45%

30-34%

17-19%

Number

47-53 million

70-80 million

40-45 million

[8]

* A 2005 nationwide Gallup poll of 1,012 adults found the following levels of firearm ownership:



Category

Percentage Owning

a Firearm

Households

42%

Individuals

30%

Male

47%

Female

13%

White

33%

Nonwhite

18%

Republican

41%

Independent

27%

Democrat

23%

[9]

* In the same poll, gun owners stated they own firearms for the following reasons:



Protection Against Crime

67%

Target Shooting

66%

Hunting

41%

[10]

Crime and Self-Defense

* Roughly 16,272 murders were committed in the United States during 2008. Of these, about 10,886 or 67% were committed with firearms.[11]

* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone "almost certainly would have been killed" if they "had not used a gun for protection." Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all "military service, police work, or work as a security guard."[12]

* Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders.[13] [14] [15] Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun.[16]

* Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology,[17] U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.[18]

* A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 3.5% of households had members who had used a gun "for self-protection or for the protection of property at home, work, or elsewhere." Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 1,029,615 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all "military service, police work, or work as a security guard."[19]

* A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.[20]

* A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found:[21]

• 34% had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim"

• 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they "knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun"

• 69% personally knew other criminals who had been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim"[22]

* Click here to see why the following commonly cited statistic does not meet Just Facts' Standards of Credibility: "In homes with guns, the homicide of a household member is almost 3 times more likely to occur than in homes without guns."



└ Vulnerability to Violent Crime

* At the current homicide rate, roughly one in every 240 Americans will be murdered.[23]

* A U.S. Justice Department study based on crime data from 1974-1985 found:

• 42% of Americans will be the victim of a completed violent crime (assault, robbery, rape) in the course of their lives

• 83% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime

• 52% of Americans will be the victim of an attempted or completed violent crime more than once[24]

* A 1997 survey of more than 18,000 prison inmates found that among those serving time for a violent crime, "30% of State offenders and 35% of Federal offenders carried a firearm when committing the crime."[25]




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