A report from John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), shows that from 2014 to 2022 armed citizens stopped active shooters eight times more often than the FBI claimed.
In the report, excerpts of which Lott published on Real Clear Politics, he noted, “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 the Lott had uncovered an example they had missed of an armed citizen stopping an active shooter. Despite the admission, “the FBI database never added the incident.”
Lott suggested that “political pressure” may be causal in the FBI’s hesitance to correct the record:
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 concludes, “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 writes. “The reality is that armed, law-abiding citizens are unsung guardian angels.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.