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U.S. Department of Justice<br />Office of Justice Programs<br />Bureau of Justice Statistics<br /><br />Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief<br /><br />Guns and Crime: Handgun Victimization, Firearm Self-Defense, and<br />Firearm Theft<br /><br />April 1994, NCJ-147003<br /><br />Full text with tables available from:<br />Bureau of Justice Statistics Clearinghouse<br />800-732-3277 (fax number for report orders and mail list signup<br />only: 410-792-4358)<br />Box 179<br />Annapolis Junction, MD. 20701-0179<br /><br />By Michael R. Rand, BJS Statistician<br /><br />In 1992 offenders armed with handguns committed a record 931,000<br />violent crimes. Handgun crimes accounted for about 13% of all<br />violent crimes. As measured by the National Crime Victimization<br />Survey (NCVS), the rate of nonfatal handgun victimizations in<br />1992--4.5 crimes per 1,000 people age 12 or older--supplanted the<br />record of 4.0 per 1,000 in 1982. <br /><br />On average in 1987-92 about 83,000 crime victims per year used a<br />firearm to defend themselves or their property. Three-fourths of<br />the victims who used a firearm for defense did so during a violent<br />crime; a fourth, during a theft, household burglary, or motor<br />vehicle theft.<br /><br />Handguns and crime, 1987-92<br /><br /> Annual<br /> average,<br /> 1992 1987-91<br /> ___________________<br /><br />Handgun crimes 930,700 667,000<br />Homicide 13,200 10,600<br />Rape 11,800 14,000<br />Robbery 339,000 225,100<br />Assault 566,800 417,300<br /><br />Note: Detail may not add to total because of rounding. Data for<br />homicide come from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports. <br /><br />For 1987-92 victims reported an annual average of about 341,000<br />incidents of firearm theft. Because the NCVS asks for types but<br />not a count of items stolen, the annual total of firearms stolen<br />probably exceeded the number of incidents.<br /><br />Males, blacks, and the young had the highest rates of handgun crime<br />victimization, 1987-92<br /><br /> Average annual rate of crimes committed<br /> with handguns (per 1,000 persons)* <br /> ________________________________________<wbr />_________<br /> Male victims Female victims <br />Age of ________________________________________<wbr />_________<br />Victim Total White Black Total White Black<br />________________________________________<wbr />_______________________<br /><br />All ages 4.9 3.7 14.2 2.1 1.6 5.8<br />12-15 5.0 3.1 14.1 2.5 2.1 4.7<br />16-19 14.2 9.5 39.7 5.1 3.6 13.4<br />20-24 11.8 9.2 29.4 4.3 3.5 9.1<br />25-34 5.7 4.9 12.3 3.1 2.1 9.0<br />35-49 3.3 2.7 8.7 1.7 1.4 3.3<br />50-64 1.5 1.2 3.5 0.8 0.7 1.6<br />65 or older 0.8 0.6 3.7 0.3 0.2 2.3<br /><br />*Rate per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in each age category. <br />Rates do not include murder or nonnegligent manslaughter committed<br />with handguns. The totals include persons of other races not shown<br />separately.<br /><br />Violent crime rates<br /><br />Unlike the record rate of handgun crimes in 1992, the overall rates<br />for violent crimes were well below the 1981 peaks. (Except where<br />noted, this brief excludes homicides, which NCVS does not measure.) <br />The total 1992 rate for rape, robbery, and aggravated and simple<br />assault was 35 per 1,000 persons, compared to 39 per 1,000 in 1981. <br />The 1992 rate of 17 per 1,000 for the more serious violent crimes<br />(rape, robbery, and aggravated assault)*was also less than the 20<br />per 1,000 in 1981.<br /><br />Most likely victims of handgun crime<br /><br />*Males were twice as likely as females to be victims of handgun<br />crimes, and blacks 3 times as likely as whites.<br /><br />*Young black males continued to be the population subgroup most<br />vulnerable to handgun crime victimization.<br /><br />For males age 16-19--<br /> The rate for blacks (40 per 1,000 persons)<br /> was 4 times that of whites (10 per 1,000).<br />For males age 20-24--<br /> The rate for blacks (29 per 1,000)<br /> was 3 times that of whites (9 per 1,000).<br /><br />When offenders fired at victims<br /><br />*Offenders fired their weapon in 17% of all nonfatal handgun crimes<br />(or about 2% of all violent crimes). In 3% of all handgun crimes,<br />the victim was wounded. The offender shot at but missed the victim<br />in 14% of all handgun crimes. Victims did not report if offenders<br />had tried to hit the victim or missed intentionally.<br /><br />Self-defense with firearms<br /><br />*38% of the victims defending themselves with a firearm attacked<br />the offender, and the others threatened the offender with the<br />weapon.<br /><br />*A fifth of the victims defending themselves with a firearm<br />suffered an injury, compared to almost half of those who defended<br />themselves with weapons other than a firearm or who had no weapon. <br />Care should be used in interpreting these data because many aspects<br />of crimes--including victim and offender characteristics, crime<br />circumstances, and offender intent--contribute to the victims'<br />injury outcomes.<br /><br /><br />About three-fourths of the victims who used firearms for<br />self-defense did so during a crime of violence, 1987-92 <br /><br /> Average annual number of victimizations<br /> in which victims used firearms to defend<br /> themselves or their property <br /> ________________________________________<br /> Attacked Threatened<br /> Total offender offender <br /> ________________________________________<br /> All crimes 82,500 30,600 51,900 <br />Total violent crime 62,200 25,500 36,700<br /><br /> With injury 12,100 7,300 4,900<br /> Without injury 50,000 18,200 31,800<br /><br />Theft, burglary, <br />motor vehicle theft 20,300 5,100 15,200<br /><br />Note: Detail may not add to total because of rounding. Includes<br />victimizations in which offenders were unarmed. Excludes<br />homicides.<br /><br />*In most cases victims who used firearms to defend themselves or<br />their property were confronted by offenders who were either unarmed<br />or armed with weapons other than firearms. On average between 1987<br />and 1992, about 35% (or 22,000 per year) of the violent crime<br />victims defending themselves with a firearm faced an offender who<br />also had a firearm. (Because the NCVS collects victimization data<br />on police officers, its estimates of the use of firearms for<br />self-defense are likely to include police use of firearms. <br />Questionnaire revisions introduced in January 1993 will permit<br />separate consideration of police and civilian firearm cases.) <br /><br />Offenders shot at victims in 17% of handgun crimes, 1987-92<br /><br /> Percent<br /> _______<br /><br />Shot at victim 16.6%<br />Hit victim 3.0<br />Missed victim 13.6<br />Nongunshot injury 1.6<br />No physical injury 12.0<br /><br />Didn't shoot at victim 83.4%<br />Other attack/attempt 19.9<br />Verb. threat of attack 15.4<br />Weapon present 46.8<br />Other threat .8<br />Unknown action .5<br /><br />Average annual number 699,900<br /><br />Note: Excludes homicides.<br /><br />Theft of firearms <br /><br />*Although most thefts of firearms (64%) occurred during household<br />burglaries, a significant percentage (32%) occurred during<br />larcenies. Loss of firearms through larceny was as likely to occur<br />away from the victim's home as at or near the home. In 53% of the<br />firearm thefts, handguns were stolen.<br /><br />341,000 incidents of firearm theft occurred per year, 1987-92<br /><br /> Average annual number <br /> of victimizations in which <br /> firearms were stolen <br />Crime in which ____________________________________<br />firearm was stolen Total Handgun Other gun<br /> ____________________________________<br /><br /> Total 340,700 180,500 160,200<br /><br />Violent crime 7,900 5,300 2,600<br />Personal theft 6,200 33,900 22,300<br />Household theft 52,600 31,700 20,900<br />Household burglary 217,200 105,300 112,000<br />Motor vehicle theft 6,700 4,400 2,400<br /><br />Note: Detail may not add to total because of rounding. The table<br />measures theft incidents, not numbers of guns stolen. See third<br />paragraph of this report.<br /><br />end of file<br /><br />-----------<br /><br /><br />Owning Topic : T=Reference and Statistics - 202 E= 638 Type = e<br /><br /><br /><br />Creation System Name : NCJRS BBS<br /><br />This system is : NCJRS BBS<br />This user is : bjs <br />topic no 227 Topic Name : Violence and Crime Prevention<br />current date Tue Nov 21 07:19:36 1995<br />Entry # : 1674 prepared Sep 7 18:49:23 1995<br /><br />Author : Admin <br />Subject :Guns and Crime: Hangun Victimization (ASCII)<br />Read by : Admin : at Thu Sep 7 18:59:30 1995<br /> jbevan : at Fri Oct 13 18:20:07 1995<br /> garden : at Sun Oct 15 16:15:49 1995<br /> mario : at Tue Oct 31 23:06:57 1995<br /> chrisperry : at Fri Nov 3 20:54:52 1995<br /> charrelson : at Mon Nov 20 06:45:45 1995<br /> bjs : at Tue Nov 21 07:19:13 1995<br /><br />Owning Topic : T=Violence and Crime Prevention - 227 E= 1674 Type = e<br /><br />
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