Gun Facts: Did You Know?

Since 1991, the number of privately owned firearms in the U.S. has increased by about 50 million, the number of right-to-carry states has increased from 15 to 37, and violent crime has decreased every year.

Every year, people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals an estimated 2,500,000 times – more than 6,500 people a day, or once every 13 seconds. Of these instances, 15.6% of the people using a firearm defensively stated that they "almost certainly" saved their lives by doing so.

Of the 2,500,000 times citizens use guns to defend themselves, 92% merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers.

For every accidental death, suicide, or homicide with a firearm, 10 lives are saved through defensive use.

In 1982, Kennesaw, GA passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate dropped 89% the following year. Read more...

After the implementation of Canada's 1977 gun controls prohibiting handgun possession for protection, the “breaking and entering” crime rate rose 25%, surpassing the American rate.

In 1966, the city of Orlando responded to a wave of sexual assaults by offering firearms training classes to women. Rapes dropped by nearly 90% the following year.

Gun ownership is slowing down property crime (especially burglaries). The chart shows the legal handgun supply in America (mainly in civilian hands) to the property crime rate.

Propery Crime and Handgun Supply

Washington D.C. has essentially banned gun ownership since 1976 and has a murder rate of 56.9 per 100,000. Across the river in Arlington, Virginia, gun ownership is less restricted. There, the murder rate is just 1.6 per 100,000, less than three percent of the Washington, D.C. rate.

Less than 8% of the time does a citizen wound his or her attacker, and in less than one in a thousand instances is the attacker killed.

Every day, 550 rapes, 1,100 murders, and 5,200 other violent crimes are prevented just by showing a gun. In less than 0.9% of these instances is the gun ever actually fired.

Two-thirds of the people who die each year from gunfire are criminals being shot by other criminals.

Even banning guns does not slow down criminals. In the U.K., where private ownership of firearms is practically forbidden, criminals have and use guns regularly, and even build their own. One enterprising fellow converted 170 starter pistols to functioning firearms and sold them to gangs. Hundreds of such underground gun factories have been established, contributing to a 35% jump in gun violence.

States that adopted nondiscretionary concealed-handgun laws saw murders decreased by at least 8%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robberies by 3%. The murder rates of women permit-holders fell by as much as five times the drop of their male counterparts.

The first gold medal awarded at the Summer Olympics goes to the winner of a shooting competition.

Eight U.S. Presidents have been NRA members. They are Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

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