“How Many People Are Murdered With Assault Weapons Each Year?”

There’s that anti-gun meme again. Someone stopped by searching for “how many people are murdered with assault weapons each year.”

As regular readers know, I prefer to back my statements with available fact. The latest FBI Uniform Crime Report, Expanded Homicide Data, table 8, gives the following information.

Please click on the link to confirm these numbers. For 2010 there were:

A total of 8,775 Americans murdered with some sort of firearm.

A total of 6009 Americans murdered with a handgun.

A total of 358 Americans murdered with rifles.

A total of 373 Americans murdered with shotguns.

A total of 96 murdered with “other,” and usually homemade, guns.

The alert will immediately note that totals only 6,836 of 8,775 murders. The type of gun in the other 1939 gun related murders were “unknown or not reported.” So only 77.9 percent of the total number of gun related death were attributed to any particular sort of gun.

Assuming the shortfall is proportional to the numbers reported to the FBI; and assigning a corrective factor of 1.284 to the reported numbers (6836 X 1.284 = 8,777.4) we obtain the following numbers:

Handguns: 7,716




Total…. 8,778, sufficiently close for our purposes.

With the total number of murders with rifles pegged at 460, and with the total percentage of military styled Sport Utility rifles at just under two percent of the total number of rifles in civilian hands, proportional use would suggest a total of 10 for 2010.

That number is generally confirmed by a clipping search. However, good statistical practice in investigating cases such as this would be to increase the total to 25 or less. So, to put the answer to the search in formal order….

Fewer than 25 Americans are killed with Sport Utility Rifles; the so called “assault weapons” each year. The most likely number is 10.


About Stranger

Extranos Alley is a Collaborate effort to provide up to information on the relationship between restrictive gun laws and violent crime; as well as other related topics. While emphasis is on United States gun laws and crime, we also provide data on crime trends world wide.
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