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Firearm Use by Offenders: 1997 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2001
16 pages
Caroline Wolf Harlow Ph.D.
Publication Series
This document describes firearm use of State and Federal prison inmates.
Data are from the Surveys of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities. These surveys of nationally-representatives samples of prison inmates in 1997 asked inmates about their use of firearms during their current offense. Topics of this BJS Special Report include types of firearms used, characteristics of inmates using firearms, why and where inmates used their firearms, and where they obtained their firearms. Highlights include the following: during the offense that brought them into prison, 15 percent of State inmates and 13 percent of Federal inmates carried a handgun, and about 2 percent, a military-style semiautomatic gun. On average, State inmates possessing a firearm received sentences of 18 years, while those without a weapon had an average sentence of 12 years. Among prisoners carrying a firearm during their crime, 40 percent of State inmates and 56 percent of Federal inmates received a sentence enhancement because of the firearm. Tables and glossary

Date Created: December 17, 2009