U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Guns and Crime

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1994
2 pages
M R Rand
Publication Series
Publication Type
Handgun crimes accounted for about 13 percent of all violent crimes in 1992, when offenders armed with handguns committed a record 931,000 violent crimes.
The rate of nonfatal handgun victimization was 4.5 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older, compared to the previous record of 4.0 in 1982. Males were twice as likely as females to be victims of handgun crimes, and blacks three times as likely as whites. Each year during 1987-92, 62,200 individuals, or about 1 percent of all victims of violence, used a firearm to defend themselves. Another 20,300 used a firearm to defend their property during a theft, household burglary, or motor vehicle theft. In most cases, the offenders they confronted were either unarmed or were armed with weapons other than firearms. One-fifth of these victims suffered an injury. Reported firearm thefts averaged about 341,000 annually during 1987-92. Sixty-four percent of these thefts occurred during household burglaries, while 32 percent occurred during larcenies away from or at or near the home. Unlike the record rate of handgun crimes in 1992, the overall rates for violent crimes were well below the 1981 peaks. Tables
Date Created: December 17, 2009