skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 132948     Find in a Library
Title: Value of Civilian Handgun Possession as a Deterrent to Crime or a Defense Against Crime
Author(s): D B Kates Jr
  Journal: American Journal of Criminal Law  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:113-168
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 56
  Annotation: A central issue in the gun control controversy is the degree to which civilian ownership of firearms reduces crime.
Abstract: Pro- and anti-gun positions on the use of guns against crime have been determined by faith in the period before the existence of credible empirical evidence on the issues. The evidence from surveys both of civilians and of felons is that actual defensive handgun uses are enormously more frequent than has previously been realized. Handguns are used more often to prevent the commission of crimes than by felons attempting them. The unique defensive value of a handgun is not the only cause for comparatively low rates of injury among gun armed resisters; of equal or more important value is the wisdom not to resist in circumstances in which resistance is unlikely to succeed. The gun lobby supports the common sense intuition that the average criminal has no more desire to face an armed citizen than the average citizen has to face an armed criminal. However, the possibility that gun ownership reduces the activity level of confrontation offenders is only an unsubstantiated speculation; gun lobby propaganda has exaggerated the deterrent effect of gun ownership by not discounting for displacement effects that represent no net gain in overall crime reduction. 167 footnotes and 1 table
Main Term(s): Citizen gun ownership
Index Term(s): Residential security ; Handguns ; Firearm-crime relationships
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.