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Unpublished CDC Study Confirms More than 2 Million Defensive Handgun Uses Annually


(Photo courtesy LovableNinja)

Unpublished CDC Study Confirms More than 2 Million Defensive Handgun Uses Annually

An unpublished Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study confirms Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck’s findings of more than two million defensive handgun uses (DGUs) per year.

Since the early 1990s, Kleck has maintained that there is a minimum of 760,000 DGUs annually. However, that is his low estimate. Kleck and research partner Marc Gertz have contended the actual number is closer to 2.5 million, reported Breitbart.

Kleck reaffirmed his numbers on February 17, 2015, explaining that while plenty of naysayers have criticized his findings, none have been able to offer empirical evidence to counter them.

Now, a CDC study conducted on data from 1996, 1997, and 1998 has been uncovered. The study, which was never released to the public, shows approximately 2.46 million DGUs per year.

gun goes

One has to ask why the studies were left unpublished?

Kleck summarized 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 I obtained the unpublished raw data and computed the prevalence of DGU.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.

On April 20, 2018, Reason magazine quoted Kleck’s reaction to the unpublished CDC findings; he explained that a figure of 2.46 million DGUs a year “[implies] that guns were used defensively by victims about 3.6 times as often as they were used offensively by criminals.”

According to Reason magazine, for those who wonder exactly how purely scientific CDC researchers are likely to be about issues of gun violence that implicate policy, Kleck notes that “CDC never reported the results of those surveys, does not report on their website any estimates of DGU frequency, and does not even acknowledge that they ever asked about the topic in any of their surveys.”

cops should carry off-duty
The CDC study, which was never released to the public, shows approximately 2.46 million DGUs per year. (Photo courtesy Jabbacake)

While the surveys specifically omitted weapons used during the course and scope of duty, Law Enforcement Today’s editor-in-chief, Jim McNeff, provided details that support these findings.

In his article, “Institutional Injustice Is a Lie,” McNeff provided personal evidence:

While working undercover I have experienced potential lethal encounters on no fewer than three occasions. First, I had a shotgun pulled on me by a (suspect) who wanted me out of his “hood” in Downey. Second, I had a person try to carjack my undercover vehicle until I pulled my handgun to defend myself in Santa Ana. Third, I had to pull my weapon on a person who challenged my presence by threatening great bodily injury since I was on “his turf”—which was the public housing projects in Los Angeles.

During each occasion McNeff was dressed in civilian clothing. The suspect in each case was not the intended target of the undercover assignment. Thus, bad guys in these gang-infested areas viewed him as an unarmed “victim.” Yet, he was armed with a handgun and able to defend himself during each crime.


How often does this occur? It’s hard to say. Nevertheless, we’d enjoy hearing your story if you’ve encountered a similar experience.

– LET Staff

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LET Staff

The staff of Law Enforcement Today is compiled of career cops. Cumulatively we possess nearly a century of experience in the business of police work. Our backgrounds derive from the East Coast, West Cost, South and Upper Midwest. Moreover, we connect with our readers through social media everyday. As a result, we have our finger on the pulse of American law enforcement.


“One has to ask why the studies were left unpublished?”

So, has anyone asked and RECEIVED a reasonable ANSWER? Because as A lawful CONCEALED CARRY citizen, I am often challenged to cite such empirical evidence, yet, frustratingly, have few resources to do SO with.

I agree. These studies were done in the 90’s, during the Clinton era; Obama didn’t take the throne till 2009 (January); why the delay?

As for sources to quote — there are sources, such as the USCCA, the NRA, the JPFO, Gun Owners of America, the Force Science Institute, etc — but friend, the communists (OOPSIE I mean “liberals”. right… liberals) are playing a game with you. Don’t go along with it. They know that conservatives respect order, law, logic, reason, self-control, etc… they know this about us. And they use our noble qualities against us, while excusing themselves from any such expectations. That’s why, when I have tried (honestly, and patiently and respectfully!) to have a real discussion with a liberal, most times it only lasts a few minutes; usually they run out of logic, my facts are obviously victorious, and then they start [literally] yelling, and making accusations.

So even when you do name your sources, and provide printed handouts for them to read (what? they don’t know how to google?????) — they can (& might!) simply refuse to read or accept them. The “liberals” might just refuse to believe a fact, even if it is standing in front of them live. They are capable of great ego and amazing self-delusion. Usually they only switch “sides” after experiencing a critical incident themselves, personally.

The people who are truly undecided might be your best potential listeners.

I was present at a scene where someone was caught breaking into a friend’s place. While police investigated, I thanked the neighbor who had called 911, and said I thought she’d be a good candidate for a CCP, and explained why — she observed, took actin to be safe, called 911, kept observing from a safe place, was concerned but still calm, cared about her neighbor… she said she’d be worried about her kids being around a firearm, & we talked about that a little. Basically I just planted a seed of an idea for her to think about. We can do plenty of that. 🙂

Keep calm and carry on.

Two questions if I may ?
On average how many people during an offensive gun crime are injured or killed ?
On average how many people during a defensive use of a gun are not killed or injured ?
See where I’m going….not a question..just wondered. These two answers my be the very two sorely needed to obliterate the gun grabbers and their insane arguements in their tracks. I hope somebody has this information, and can share it with me. Sincerely,
Johnny Tyler

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