The Number of Violent Crimes Involving Guns Has Been Exaggerated By An Over-Inclusive Definition of Gun Crime

4 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2015

See all articles by Gary A. Mauser

Gary A. Mauser

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business

Date Written: March 9, 2015

Abstract

By using an over-inclusive definition, Statistics Canada has exaggerated the number of violent crimes that involve guns. The result is that gun violence appears to be four times more frequent than it really is. In 2013 (the most recent year statistics are available) Statistics Canada reports that there were 5,027 “firearms-related” incidents out of 263,054 violent crimes (i.e., 2% of violent crimes). Clearly, gun violence isn’t prevalent. But even that small share exaggerates the frequency that a gun was actually used to commit a violent crime. A Special Request revealed that a gun was actually used in just 1,194 violent crimes in 2013. Gun violence only occurred in one-quarter of “firearms-related” crimes and in just 0.5% of violent crimes.

Keywords: Firearms, guns, statistics, crime, Canada

Suggested Citation

Mauser, Gary A., The Number of Violent Crimes Involving Guns Has Been Exaggerated By An Over-Inclusive Definition of Gun Crime (March 9, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2575840 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2575840

Gary A. Mauser (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business ( email )

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Burnaby, British Colombia V5A 1S6
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