Unpublished Study: Over 2 Million Defensive Gun Uses Every Year

Every year, Americans use guns to defend themselves more than 2 million times, according to an unpublished study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that focused on data gathered in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Since the 1990s, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck and partner Marc Gertz have claimed as many as 2.2 million Americans use firearms to defend themselves every year. While critics have claimed Kleck’s estimates were too high, he has frequently stated that they provide no scientific evidence to counter his findings.

Now it’s revealed that the unpublished CDC study in the 1990s found 2.46 million defensive gun uses, or DGUs, per year.

Kleck provides the following summary of the CDC findings:

In 1996, 1997, and 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted large-scale national surveys asking about defensive gun use (DGU). They never released the findings, or even acknowledged they had studied the topic. I obtained the unpublished raw data and computed the prevalence of DGU. CDC’s findings indicated that an average of 2.46 million U.S. adults used a gun for self-defense in each of the years from 1996 through 1998 – almost exactly confirming the estimate for 1992 of Kleck and Gertz (1995). Possible reasons for CDC’s suppression of these findings are discussed.

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