Study: 89% of 21st Century Mass Shootings Occurred in Gun-Free Zones

Mugshot of Nikolas Cruz, suspect in the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in P
Various: Broward County Jail, AP Images, Getty Images

A study from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) shows 89 percent of mass shootings between 1998 and June 2019 occurred in gun-free zones.

CPRC reports 21st mass shooters are not typically religious, “80 percent are at least 21 years of age,” and the majority of them–56 percent–views handguns as the weapon of choice for an attack.

Rifles alone have only been used in 13 percent of 21st century mass shootings. Shotguns alone have only been used in four percent.

Weigh popular Democrat gun control campaigns in light of these finding and it quickly becomes evident that gun control is not the solution to mass shootings.

For instance, one popular control is to raise the age for rifle purchases to 21 years of age. What good does this do when 80 percent of mass shooters are 21-year-old or older?

Another gun control push is to ban “assault rifles.” But this is an impotent approach when you consider the fact that rifles alone are used in only 13 percent of attacks, while handguns are the overarching weapon of choice.

Ironically, the one thing that could diminish mass shootings is to go in the other direction and repeal gun control statutes that create gun-free zones. As recently as the July 28, 2019, Gilroy Garlic Festival, and the May 31, 2019 attack at Virginia Beach, we saw that gun-free zones turn people into sitting ducks. Such zones guarantee attackers will find a captive audience; one that cannot shoot back or respond in a lethal way.

The Virginia Tech attack (April 16, 2007), Aurora movie theater attack (July 20, 2012), Sandy Hook Elementary School attack (December 14, 2012), DC Navy Yard attack (September 16, 2013), San Bernardino attack (December 2, 2015), Orlando Pulse attack (June 12, 2016), Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attack (February 14, 2018), and the Borderline Bar & Grill attack (November 7, 2018), all constitute mass shooting incidents that Democrats use again and again to push gun control. Every one of these attacks occurred in gun-free zones.

The problem is not the gun, but the statutes barring law-abiding citizens from having guns with them for self-defense.

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. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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