Americans use a gun in self defense once every 13 seconds:

  • The National Self Defense Survey, as conducted by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, indicates that Americans use guns in self defense 2,500,000 times per year, which is once every 13 seconds.
  • In about 30% of the defensive gun uses, the would-be victim believes that the gun “almost certainly” or “probably” saved a life.
  • In more than 1/2 of the self defense gun uses, the would-be victim was under attack by 2 or more criminals, making a firearm the only viable means of self defense for most people.
  • The overwhelming majority of these defensive gun uses were never reported by the news media.
  • Gun ownership protects 65 lives for every 2 lives lost.

For those who wish to read the peer reviewed and published studies substantiating these facts, see:

Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun,” Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, in The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, Volume 86, Number 1, Fall, 1995

“Guns in the Medical Literature – A Failure of Peer Review.” Dr. Suter, Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. March 1994.

An interview with the author of this study, Dr. Gary Kleck, can be seen here.

NOTE from the LearnAboutGuns.com Author: I write about a tiny percentage of the real-life armed self defense cases that occur each year.  You can click here to read those real-life examples.