“How Many Crimes Do Guns Prevent Each Year?”

Someone came by searching for “# crimes guns stop yr.”

The first serous study was funded by the Carter Administration and was published in 1982. The “Wright Rossi Report” asked 1800 imprisoned felons about their careers, and concluded that the possible presence of a gun prevented 2,200,000 crimes a year. The little Java applet on the right tat number to count to calculate the number of rimes prevented to date in the current year.

When the Wright Rossi Report was released, the number of violent crimes was estimated at 3.8 million a year, but violent crimes comprise only a small part of all crimes committed or attempted. More recent studies, some involving as many as 4,500 violent offenders, have gotten numbers that are much larger than the original Report’s findings.

The latest studies find the total number of crimes prevented by the possible presence of a gun is approximately the same as the number of crimes reported to the police, or just over ten million a year. Of course, we have bought a substantial number of guns since 1981.

Approximately 260 million new guns, from ATF production numbers and the FBI’s National Instant Criminal (background) Check system numbers.

Considering the 97 million population increase in the last 37 years, and the decline in crimes reported to the police oer that period, a total decline of more than ten million attempted and unreported crimes is probably conservative.


About Stranger

A collaborative effort, Extranos Alley is primarily concerned with providing up to date data on the relationships between privately woned firearms and crime, violence, and politics. The site is maintained by nine volunteers who have given up their identity that the work here may be considered without regard to the individual data. The contributors are a diverse group, ranging from a retired physicist to a board certified psychologist.

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