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Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force

NCJ Number
Social Problems Volume: 35 Issue: 1 Dated: (February 1988) Pages: 1-21
G Kleck
Date Published
21 pages
Survey and quasi-experimental evidence in consistent with the hypothesis that the private ownership and use of firearms deters criminal behavior.
Private gun use against violent criminals and burglars is common and about as frequent as legal actions such as arrests. It is a more prompt negative consequence of crime than legal punishment and is often far more severe. In 1980, about 1,500-2,800 felons were legally killed by gun-wielding civilians. About 8,700-16,000 were nonfatally wounded and guns were used defensively about one million times. Victim resistance with guns is associated with lower rates of both victim injury and crime completion for robberies and assaults than any other victim action, including nonresistance. (Author abstract modified)


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