Number of Cases of Self-Defense With Handgun

This is a discussion on Number of Cases of Self-Defense With Handgun within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Anyone have any stats from official records - FBI, Dept of Justice, Police Records country-wide etc - of the number of cases/incidents of defensive-use of ...

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Number of Cases of Self-Defense With Handgun

    Anyone have any stats from official records - FBI, Dept of Justice, Police Records country-wide etc - of the number of cases/incidents of defensive-use of handgun yearly? I'm not interested in Kleck or other samplings based on self-reports. But official records.

    Thanks
    Last edited by walleye; October 6th, 2011 at 12:03 PM.

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    Anyone have any stats from official records - FBI, Dept of Justice, Police Records country-wide etc - of the number of cases/incidents of defensive-use of handgun yearly? I'm not interested on Kleck or other samplings based on self-reports. But officially records.

    Thanks
    You might try this...

    FBI Expanded Homicide Data Table 15

    That would give you a figure of 170 cases of justifiable homicide involving the use of a handgun in 2010 according to FBI statistics. That figure of course doesn't take into account the number of times a handgun prevented a crime without anyone getting killed in the process. Hope that helps.
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    I doubt you'll find any definitive info for the number of SD use of handguns. The link that Gene83 is going to be the best you'll come up with.
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    I doubt you'll find any definitive info for the number of SD use of handguns. The link that Gene83 is going to be the best you'll come up with.
    One think that skews the figures is that when a person shoots another without premeditation, say during an argument or whatever, when the police arrive, they always claim that they acted in self defense. Many times the evidence doesn't support that. Locally, a woman was just sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for killing her husband. She'll have to serve at least 55 years. She claimed she acted in self defense but she shot him in the back as he was packing his clothes in the car to leave her.

    The FBI statistics don't reflect how often the self defense argument actually held up in those situations. The FBI stats are for felonies being committed against an individual where a gun was used in self defense, or that's my understanding.
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    These might be the folks to ask:
    NRA-ILA ::

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    These might be the folks to ask:
    NRA-ILA ::
    I saw LaPierre's interview with Glenn Beck. He quoted Gary Kleck as his source for his numbers.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-wBwpL-pIE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    I saw LaPierre's interview with Glenn Beck. He quoted Gary Kleck as his source for his numbers.


    Guns used in self-defense over 2.5 million times a year - YouTube
    Perhaps, but as stated on the page, the Armed Citizen has been a clearinghouse of such cases since 1958.

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Perhaps, but as stated on the page, the Armed Citizen has been a clearinghouse of such cases since 1958.
    I know. I just didn't cite it because the OP stated that he wasn't looking for Kleck's numbers, he was looking for "official" records. The FBI link was the only "official" records I could come up with.
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    Senior Member Array Tzadik's Avatar
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    Unfortunatly many cases of self defense with a handgun are unreported and shots are never fired.
    I'm not sure you will find a statistic that is at all acurate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzadik View Post
    Unfortunatly many cases of self defense with a handgun are unreported and shots are never fired.
    I'm not sure you will find a statistic that is at all acurate.
    I think this is true. THE NRA's Armed Citizen articles often list stories where pulling a gun dissuaded any further attack. As is often mentioned on here when someone pulls a weapon to discourage an attack, it goes unreported. Folks are to upset, and figure it is all over. They are normally right. But, it means there are a lot of actions never accounted for.

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    You might try this...

    FBI — Expanded Homicide Data Table 15

    That would give you a figure of 170 cases of justifiable homicide involving the use of a handgun in 2010 according to FBI statistics. That figure of course doesn't take into account the number of times a handgun prevented a crime without anyone getting killed in the process. Hope that helps.
    Thank you. Right you are as far the number of justifiable homicides vs total numbers of uses of handguns in SD, but at least it's a reliable figure you could extrapolate from.

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    One think that skews the figures is that when a person shoots another without premeditation, say during an argument or whatever, when the police arrive, they always claim that they acted in self defense. Many times the evidence doesn't support that. Locally, a woman was just sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for killing her husband. She'll have to serve at least 55 years. She claimed she acted in self defense but she shot him in the back as he was packing his clothes in the car to leave her.

    The FBI statistics don't reflect how often the self defense argument actually held up in those situations. The FBI stats are for felonies being committed against an individual where a gun was used in self defense, or that's my understanding.
    So they reflect probably street crime, a subset of uses of handguns for SD.

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    There are likely many more local sources in police files that deal with reports by CCW or perhaps other witnesses of "attempted assault/robbery" thwarted by the drawing of a handgun and the flight of the assailant, that never are collected by the FBI because they are not actual completed crimes. And I suppose there are some CCWs who would not report it - (I can understand that but don't in the long run think its a good idea to not report it).

    Someone or some group would have to have a compelling interest in assembling thousands of police reports - likely the only way to get even a reliable ballpark estimate - a gigantic task.

    Here's my instinctive figuring from the FBI's 170 number of homicides in SD:

    If 170 cases of killing by SD actions, I'd say 4 times more for killing + wounding = 680

    And I'll say for every 1 SD incident involving wounding or killing there are 40 when a gun is pulled justifiably but no shots need to be fired since the assailant flees = 27200

    To that which would be figures for street crime I'll put 100% more for non-street-crime uses of handgun for SD = about 54000.

    So that's my intuitive number based on SD Homicides of 170 per FBI = say 55,000, round it to 60,000 total uses of handguns in SD.

    Seems like a somewhat logical extrapolation from the 170 to me though it may not for anyone else.
    Still not a lot nationwide per whole population as a likely event in any one gun owner's life but significant: saving 60,000 lives a year is not a minor thing - and it could be yours that is one of them.

    Any thoughts of my "hunch-logic" numbers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post




    Any thoughts of my "hunch-logic" numbers?
    More like magic smoke. For not being interested in Kleck, and only wanting "official" stats, you quickly stray from the confines of sound objectivity.

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    More like magic smoke. For not being interested in Kleck, and only wanting "official" stats, you quickly stray from the confines of sound objectivity.
    Yes I know that - but there are no stats that are official but one - the 170 SD homicides - and I called my number a "logical hunch". It is what it's named, a hunch based on an available number, that's all.

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