Research: Concealed Carry and Guns Save Lives

Guns save lives, and are necessary for protection. That's according to research from David Burnett and Clayton Cramer, who track incidents of defensive gun use at

The stories include senior citizens fighting off robbers, and women defending themselves against rapists or attackers, proving armed citizens prevent violent crimes everywhere from restaurants and grocery stores to banks, coffee houses and pizza parlors.

"We've documented 2,160 stories of self-defense with guns since May 2007 – the same time frame the VPC used," said Burnett. "When it comes to concealed carry permits, we have 153 documented cases across 26 states with at least 550 lives saved."

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) recently claimed concealed weapons licensees are killers, offering stories as proof. Burnett says the VPC is distorting the truth.

"If these victims had been disarmed, they wouldn't be able to fight back...they'd be dead," said Burnett. "Since no place is immune from crime, we must allow people to be armed for their own protection. Nobody wants to kill someone, but nobody wants to die either."

Burnett also notes that in 14 percent of documented cases, no shots were fired. "You don't always have to shoot to stop a criminal. Sometimes the threat is enough."

According to Clayton Cramer, the numbers are tricky to measure.

"If nobody dies, how do you count the lives saved? You can't predict the future, but most of these criminals have histories of violent crime. If they hadn't been stopped, there's no way of telling how many would have been hurt later on."

Both authors say the facts prove concealed carry's net effect is positive. "States that allow concealed carry see reduced crime, if only because knowing a victim might be armed makes a criminal think twice," says Cramer. "That unknown protects even unarmed citizens."

Like the VPC, The Armed Citizen uses news reports to track defensive shootings, leading the authors to believe the real numbers are much higher.

"You have to look at the whole picture," Burnett concluded. "Weigh the good with the bad. A gun in the hands of a responsible citizen can and often does save a life. If the Violence Policy Center wants to compare numbers, concealed carry wins."

The United States Concealed Carry Association is the ultimate concealed-carry resource, with a goal of stopping 5,000 crimes and saving 250 lives by December 31st, 2011. Join the mission at

Help us fight for your rights!

Become a member of Buckeye Firearms Association and support our grassroots efforts to defend and advance YOUR RIGHTS!

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

Get weekly news and instant alerts on the latest laws and politics that affect your gun rights. Enjoy cutting-edge commentary. Be among the first to hear about gun raffles, firearms training, and special events. Read more.

We respect your privacy and your email address will be kept confidential.


Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.