New Report Shows That Armed Citizens Halt Active Shooters 8 Times More Than FBI Figures

John R. Lott Jr, the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), published a report demonstrating  that from 2014 to 2022 armed citizens stopped active shooters 8 times more frequently than the FBI documented. 

Lott posted excerpts of this report on Real Clear Politics, in which he highlighted the following, “Out of 440 active shooter incidents from 2014 to 2022, an armed citizen stopped 157. We also found that the FBI had misidentified five cases, usually because the person who stopped the attack was incorrectly identified as a security guard.”

He observed, “While the FBI claims that just 4.6% of active shootings were stopped by law-abiding citizens carrying guns, the percentage that I found was 35.7%. I am more confident that we have identified a higher share of recent cases, and our figure for 2022 was even higher – 41.3%.”

Despite Lott’s findings and the findings of CPRC, the FBI’s data has not been adjusted. Lott highlighted this by pointing to an email he received in 2015 in which the FBI admitted to him that the pro-gun researcher had uncovered an example of how they missed a case of an armed citizen stopping an active shooter. Despite making this admission, “the FBI database never added the incident”, per Lott.

Lott stated that “political pressure” may be what’s causing the FBI’s hesitance to correct these figures which he noted below:

Up until January of 2021, I worked in the U.S. Department of Justice as the senior advisor for research and statistics, and part of my job was to evaluate the FBI’s active shooting reports. I showed the bureau that many cases were missing and that others had been misidentified. Yet, the FBI continues to report that armed citizens stopped only 14 of the 302 active shooter incidents that it identified for the period 2014-2022. The correct rate is almost eight times higher. And if we limit the discussion to places where permit holders were allowed to carry, the rate is eleven times higher.

Lott said in a concluding remark, “The FBI data on active shootings is missing so many defensive gun uses that it’s hard to believe it isn’t intentional. Errors can happen, but the failure to fix past reports shows a troubling disregard for the truth,” he stated. “The reality is that armed, law-abiding citizens are unsung guardian angels.”

Lott is an American treasure. His research has been critical in refuting many pernicious anti-gun myths that the establishment has propagated.

However, due to the politicized nature of the way data is disseminated, Americans simply can’t rely on public institutions to report crime statistics accurately. As a result, it becomes critical for independent researchers to set the record straight. 

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