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Carrying Guns for Protection: Results From the National Self-Defense Survey

NCJ Number
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency Volume: 35 Issue: 2 Dated: May 1998 Pages: 193-224
F Kleck; M Gertz
Date Published
32 pages
Results of the National Self-Defense Survey revealed the prevalence, incidence, and patterns of adult gun carrying for protection.
The survey was the first national survey ever devoted to the topic of armed self-defense. It used anonymous random-digit dialing to interview 1,832 adults ages 18 and over who were living in the lower 48 States in households with telephones. The sampling and interviews were conducted by a professional telephone polling organization in February through April 1993. Results revealed that about 8.8 percent of adults carried guns in the preceding year, 3.7 percent carried guns on their person, and 6.5 percent carried guns in a vehicle. Findings indicated that about 16.8 million adults carry a gun within a given year, including 7.1 million who carry guns on their person and 12.4 million who carry a gun in their vehicle. On an average day, 2.7 million adults carry a gun for protection on their person, and 5 million carry one in a vehicle. Less than 1 in 1,000 instances of gun carrying involves a violent gun crime. Carrying is more common among males, black persons, people in the south and west, and people with a job requiring a gun than it is among others. It is also more common among people who know someone who was recently the victim of a crime, people who believe that the crime rate is above average in their neighborhood, people who have been robbery victims, and people who believe that people must depend on themselves for protection. Tables, notes, and 70 references (Author abstract modified)


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