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Guns and Crime: Handgun Victimization, Firearm Self-Defense

U.S. Department of Justice
 
ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 5 P.M. EST
BJS SUNDAY, MAY 15,
1994                                202-307-0784
 
RECORD NUMBER OF HANDGUN CRIMES--NEARS ONE MILLION A YEAR
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The number of non-fatal crimes committed
with a handgun rose to a record level during 1992, the
Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
announced today. Handguns were used in an estimated 917,500
non-fatal crimes, almost 50 percent more than the average for
the previous five years.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation
reported an additional 13,200 handgun homicides during the
same year, a 24 percent increase over the five-year average.
 
Offenders armed with handguns committed one in every eight
violent crimes--rape, robbery and assault--measured by BJS's
National Crime Victimization Survey.  The other violent crime
victims were attacked or threatened by offenders who were
either unarmed or were armed with such weapons as rocks,
sticks, knives or other types of firearms.  The most common
violent crime, simple assault, by definition does not involve
the use of a weapon.
 
In contrast to the record high handgun crime rate (4.5 per
1,000 inhabitants 12 years old or older), the 1992 rate for
all non-fatal violent crime (35 per 1,000) was below the 1981
peak for the past two decades (39 per 1,000 residents), which
means that a growing percentage of violent crimes involves handguns.
 
Young black males are the most vulnerable to handgun crime.
Among 16-to-19-year-olds, the most victimized age group, the
rate for black males was four times higher than the rate for
white males.
 
The average annual rates of non-fatal crimes committed with
handguns per 1,000 persons during the years 1987 through 1992
by race and age were as follows:
 
                   Males          Females
 
Victim's age    White  Black    White  Black
 
12-15           3.1     14.1     2.1    4.7
16-19           9.5     39.7     3.6   13.4
20-24           9.2     29.4     3.5    9.1
25-34           4.9     12.3     2.1    9.0
35-49           2.7      8.7     1.4    3.3
50-64           1.2      3.5     0.7    1.6
65 or older     0.6      3.7     0.2    2.3
 
The data are from the federal government's second largest
household survey, which interviews people 12 years old and
older throughout the country about their experiences with
crime and criminal offenders.  Because it includes only
information obtained from victims' responses to questions, it
obtains no homicide data.
 
During the 1987-1992 period, offenders fired their weapons in
17 percent of all non-fatal handgun crimes, missing the victim
four out of five times. In 3 percent of the non-fatal crimes
committed with handguns, about 21,000 annually, the victim was
wounded.  In addition, an average 11,100 were killed each
year.
 
During the same period an estimated annual average of 62,000
violent crime victims (approximately 1 percent of all violent
crime victims) used a firearm in an effort to defend
themselves. In addition, an annual average of about 20,000
victims of theft, household burglary or motor vehicle theft
attempted to defend their property with guns.
 
In most cases victims defending themselves with firearms
were confronted by unarmed offenders or those armed with
weapons other than firearms.  During the six-year period,
about one in three armed victims faced an armed offender.
 
BJS estimated that more than 340,000 crimes annually
involved firearm thefts.  During the period almost two-thirds
of such losses occurred during household burglaries and almost
one- third in larcenies.  The survey does not report on thefts
or burglaries from stores or other businesses.
 
Single copies of the BJS crime data brief, "Guns and Crime:
Handgun Crime Victimization, Firearm Self-Defense, and Firearm
Theft" (NCJ-147003), as well as other BJS statistical reports
may be obtained from the BJS Clearinghouse, Box 179, Annapolis
Junction, Maryland 20701-0179.  The telephone number is
1-800-732-3277.  Fax orders (include title, NCJ number,
name, address) to 410-792-4358.
 
 
                                    # # #
 
94-21
After hours contact: Stu Smith 301-983-9354
 
 
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Creation System Name : NCJRS BBS

This system is : NCJRS BBS
This user is : bjs           
topic no 93 Topic Name : BJS Press Releases
current date  Tue Nov 21 07:13:03 1995
Entry # : 274  prepared Jan 22 14:37:21 1995

Author : Admin                   
Subject :Guns and Crime
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Owning Topic : T=BJS Press Releases - 93 E= 274 Type = e

Date Created: May 28, 2009