What Do CDC's Surveys Say About the Frequency of Defensive Gun Uses?
36 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2018 Last revised: 22 May 2020
Date Written: November 7, 2019
In 1996, 1997, and 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted large-scale surveys asking about defensive gun use (DGU) in four to seven states. Analysis of the raw data allows the estimation of the prevalence of DGU for those areas. Data pertaining to the same sets of states from the 1993 National Self-Defense Survey (Kleck and Gertz 1995) allow these results to be extrapolated to the U.S. as a whole. CDC’s survey data confirm previous high estimates of DGU prevalence, disconfirm estimates derived from the National Crime Victimization Survey, and indicate that defensive uses of guns by crime victims are far more common than offensive uses by criminals. CDC has never reported these results.
Keywords: Defensive Gun Use, Centers for Disease Control
JEL Classification: K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation