Gun Control Myths Debunked

We keep hearing from members that they need more help in deciphering what information is real  and what information is false. We also hear many mis-truths spoke and propagated by the gun control lobby in  meeting after meeting. CRPA’s hope is that this is information that you can use to debunk those half-truths and flat out mischaracterizations of gun owners in your own conversations and presentations..

Guns Now Kill More Children than Auto Crashes- FALSE

-Gap is narrowing, but depends on how you decipher the data.

-2020 is the last year the data is available and in that year both gun and motor vehicle deaths rose

– Adults ages 18-33 make up 20 percent of the country’s population but nearly 40 percent of its gun deaths. (CDC Report)

– While firearm deaths among children age 1 to 17 increased 29 percent from 2019 to 2020, motor vehicle deaths increased 10 percent and remained the leading cause of death in that age group. (Note that most of the studies now consider “youth 2-24 years old”)

– Suicides accounted for more than half of the 45,000-plus firearm deaths reported in 2020, a larger share of gun deaths than the 19,000 homicides counted that year.

– The CDC buries the salient data in its appendix. It claims that the “increase was seen across most demographic characteristics”. Its own data however shows a massive increase among black teens and a fairly limited one among most other groups.

– NBC News’ fairly nuanced fact check makes the same point.- While gun and motor vehicle deaths increased substantially in 2020, the latest year final numbers were available, claims that more children and teens die due to guns motor vehicles only hold up when 18- to 19-year-olds are included, a group that accounts for nearly as many gun deaths as  1 to 17-year-olds combined do, according to an NBC News analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The deaths of 18-19 year old account for as many deaths as those ages 1-17. Much of the deaths of 18-19 yr. olds are related to crime and gang activity which is not accounted for in the CDC reporting. The study being cited is 1-24 year olds. Not many people consider “children” over the age of 18 years.

So, you have a very high death rate among 2% of the population that’s being narrative laundered to make it seem as if all of America’s kids are at risk.



Handguns are 43 times more likely to kill a family member than a criminal- FALSE

-Of the 43 to 1 figure, 86% of those were suicides. Others were deaths of the criminals. (Arthur L. Kellermannand Donald T. Reay, Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home, New England Journal of Medicine, 1577-60 (1986).)

-In this same study, Kellermann and Reay exclude many cases of self-defense and any cases where the person who shot an attacker was acquitted on grounds of self-defense, or cases where a conviction was reversed on appeal on grounds related to self-defense. (David Kopel, The Fallacy of “43 to 1,” National Review Online, Jan. 31, 2001m available The Fallacy of “43 to 1” (davekopel.org) )



California gun deaths have dropped by 10% since 2005 (May2022)- FALSE

Gun homicides drive the rise. California saw 1,658 homicides in 2019; the number climbed to 2,161 in 2020—an increase of 503 homicides (or 30.3%). Of these deaths, gun homicides jumped by 460 in 2020 (or 40.6%). In other words, the increase in gun deaths account for 91% of the overall jump in homicides.

Gun use was notable in other violent crimes as well. For example, aggravated assaults rose by 8.4%, and assaults with a firearm jumped by 39.2%, And although robberies decreased by 10%, the share of robberies involving a firearm rose from 23.9% of all robberies to 25%.

Almost half of the increase comes from homicides where the victim was Latino, and Black victims make up more than a third. The latter is especially striking given that Black residents represent only 6% of California’s population. White residents represent 36% of the state’s population, yet only 3.6% of the increase in homicides. The number of homicides of men jumped by 453, representing 90% of the overall increase. https://www.ppic.org/blog/gun-deaths-drive-californias-largest-ever-rise-in-homicides/

  1. Statewide, homicides were up 30 percent in 2020 and, while 2021 crime statistics will not be released until July 1, preliminary data from some cities indicate that 2021 will be another bad year for victims of crime.  For example, in San Francisco there were 41 homicides in 2019, 48 in 2020, and 56 in 2021 and non-fatal shootings are far worse with 137 in 2019, 167 in 2020, and 222 in 2021, or a two year increase of 62 percent.
  2. In an effort to explain the rising toll, Gov. Gavin Newsom attributed the rise in homicides and gun crime in California to the increasing number of gun sales.  He cited the 1.16 million firearms sold in California in 2020 as the chief cause.Despite all of those laws, or perhaps because of them, in most crimes committed with firearms the firearms were obtained illegally..  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2016, 90 percent of firearms used in crimes were not obtained from a retail source.   Only 1.3 percent of criminals bought their firearms legally from a retail source and less than 1 percent came from gun shows.Put another way, 98 percent of firearms used by criminals were obtained illegally.  The report goes on to state that 20 percent of criminals who possessed a firearm during the commission of a crime obtained it with the intent to use it during the crime. And, perhaps the most telling statistic of all – 21 percent of all state inmates nationwide were armed during the commission of their crime.
  3. According to reformers 40,000 California  prison inmates are serving sentences that included a firearm enhancement. They used firearms that they stole or otherwise obtained illegally – then used them to threaten, injure, or kill.   Today, members of the State Legislature are trying hard to overturn those enhancements.Recently, the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed AB 1509 to eliminate the 10-20-25 year enhancements for the use of firearms in certain violent crimes including: Murder, rape, robbery, mayhem, and kidnapping.  Those currently convicted under this law face enhanced sentences of 10 years for possession of a firearms, 20 years for discharging the firearm, and 25 for seriously injuring or killing someone.AB 1509 would reduce the enhancement to just 1,2, or 3 years, respectively.The Public Safety Committee voted 5-0 To move AB 1509 forward, although it died in the Appropriations Committee.   Advocates vow to bring it back before the State Legislature.

    Concurrently, progressive District Attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco are refusing to charge enhancements – even if the case involves repeat violent offenders.  They appear to be doing so because they believe California’s strict accountability and truth in sentencing laws are more unjust than the injuries inflicted on crime victims. https://www.pacificresearch.org/gun-violence-increases-in-california/



“Assault Weapons” are used more often in mass shootings- FALSE

In 2020, handguns were involved in 59% of the 13,620 U.S. gun murders and non-negligent manslaughters for which data is available, according to the FBI. Rifles – the category that includes guns sometimes referred to as “assault weapons” – were involved in 3% of firearm murders. Shotguns were involved in 1%. The remainder of gun homicides and non-negligent manslaughters (36%) involved other kinds of firearms or those classified as “type not stated.”


The “gun show loophole” is a substantial source on crime guns.- FALSE

-Government survey found that among the 16% of state inmates that were armed during the commission of their crime, a mere 0.6% accquired their firearms from a gun show. A similar survey found that gun shows were the source of .07% of crime guns among the 18% of state inmates that committed a crime armed.  A more recent study released by the government shows that among prisoners who possessed a gun during their offense, 90% did not obtain it from a retail source (in 2016 less than .08% purchased from a gun show) (Published 2019- Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016 (ojp.gov).

-Most criminals report getting their illegal firearms from street sources and not through licensed dealers.


There is an epidemic of fatal firearm accidents, and more gun control is needed to save people from this.- FALSE

Reality is that fatal firearm accidents are very rare. This is a go-to for gun-control lobby who wants to scare the average person into thinking that they are going to die from an accidental firearm shooting. In fact, just recently we saw the Mayor of San Jose use this as the main excuse as to why he wants to force a tax on gun owners and mandate insurance on gun owners in his city.

Estimates place the number of individual owned firearms between 300-400 million and yet with all those firearms, there are only a couple of hundred accidental shootings each year thus making up only about 1.28 percent of all firearm deaths in the nation (most of which are suicides). Your fiends may want to know that with an average of only around 400-500 accidental discharge deaths, they really should be more worried about the 58,000 accidental poisonings,  40,000 vehicle accidents, 34,000 accidental falls, 3,800 accidental drownings, and the 2,800 accidental exposures to smoke and flames that occur each year. All far outweighing the “epidemic” of firearm accidents each year. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Fatal Injury Data, WISQARS, available at https://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate.html



If we can just save one child, more restriction on constitutional rights is justified– FALSE

More guns in the home does not mean more children are getting shot or causing an epidemic of school shootings. Actually, while the number of handguns per capita has been increasing (something the gun lobby does not want you to know) the number of fatal gun shootings of children ages 0-14 has decreased over the same time period. (National Center for Health Statistics; Firearms Commerce in the United States, BAFTE, 2021/2002).

Now it must be noted that many in the gun-control crowd like to include older individuals in their statistics. They often like to state that “13 children are killed each day by gun violence,” but what they fail to convey is that many of the “children” aged 18-24 included in those statistics are adult gang members in any other scenario. Additionally, studies show that children under the age of 14 are 12 times more likely to die in an auto accident than from a gun. (National Vital Statistics Report, National Center for Health Statistics, revised July 1999).

There are about 55 million school children in the U.S. and on average, over the past 25 years, about 10 students per year were killed in school shootings. (Allie Nicodemo & Lia Peetronio, Schools are safer than they were in the 90s , and school shootings are not more common than they used to be, researchers say, NEWS@NORTHEASTERN, Feb 26, 2018). Now it is always horrible to find that a criminal or mentally ill person has decided to victimize kids, but the talking heads and the gun control lobby leaves no tragedy untouched. Compared to other types of violence and crime kids face, school shootings remain rare.


No one wants to take your guns– FALSE

Remember when the gun control lobby was yelling at the top of their lungs that the only people who should have guns are the police? That suddenly changed over the past two years and now the same people are demanding less police and less use of force by the police. In a world where people change their minds like they change their socks, THIS is why fundamental foundational rights, like those in the Second Amendment, are so important. The constitution was not drafted to be a whim of the popular thought, no, it was drafted to protect those in the minority who where most at threat of losing their rights.  To say that they are not coming for your guns is laughable at best when you have comments like this from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence “The goal of CSGV is the orderly elimination of the private sale of handguns and assault weapons in the United States.”

Head of the Violence Prevention Center, John Sugarmann,  way back in 1988 came up with the strategy to target “assault weapons” (a name used by the gun control lobby to scare average citizen) when he stated that “[t]he weapon’s menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the change of public support.” And former mayor of Stockton, California, Barbara Fass, has stated that gun control is about doing it “a step at a time… so that by the time the people have woken up to what happened, its gone farther than what they feel the consensus of American citizens would be.” Make no mistake, they are coming for your guns, and they are no longer trying to hide it.


Guns rarely prevent crime- FALSE

Americans use guns to defend themselves against criminals approximately 2.5 million times per year. (Gary Klek & Marc Gertz, Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun, 86 J. CRIM.L & CRIMINOLOGY 150, 184 (1995). (Centers for Disease Control, Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence (2013).

Among people polled who had used their firearm defensively, 15.75% stated that they or someone else would have been killed if not for their defensive gun use. 14.2% said they or others probably would have been killed and 16.2% said someone “might have.” (Gary Kleck & Marc Gertz, Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun, 86 J. CRIM.L. & CRIMINOLOGY 150, 176 (1995).

There are “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.” (The Heritage Foundation, Here Are 8 Stubborn Facts on Gun Violence in America (2018).


A person is more likely to be killed or injured if a gun is used in self-defense- FALSE

For every suicide, accidental death, and homicide with a firearm (29,019), there are roughly 13 times more lives that are saved through defensive gun use (390,000). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Unintentional Firearms Deaths (2011).


Women who have firearms in the home are at more risk- FALSE

Women are responsible for 46.3% of the 2.5 million annual defensive gun uses, despite having lower rates than men of both victimization and gun ownership. (Kleck & Gertz, Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun, 86 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 150, 187 (1995).

Gallop Poll found that 58% of women believe that having a gun in the house makes it safer. (Justin McCarthy, More Than Six in 10 Americans Say Guns Make Homes Safer, Gallup, November 7, 2014).

Firearm availability is particularly useful in avoiding rape. The U.K virtually banned gun ownership and during that same time period handgun ownership in the U.S. steadily rose. Yet the rate of rape decreased in the U.S. and skyrocketed in other countries. (Guns and Crime Prevention, GUN FACTS, http://www.gunfacts.info/gun-control-myths/gun-and-crime-prevention/ )


Only law enforcement should be armed- FALSE

Police do not have a constitutional duty to protect people or prevent crime. (Town of Castle Rock, Colo v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748, 768 (2005).


Trigger Lock Requirements are an Effective Prevention Method- FALSE

In 1994, California had a trigger lock law and saw a 12% increase in fatal firearm accidents. That same year, Texas did not have a trigger lock law and saw a 28% decrease in fatal firearm accidents. (National Center for Health Statistics, 1995)


In the Gun Show Debate, the State Should Not Profit off the Proliferation of Guns on State Property-FALSE.

Memorandum Opinion from Federal Court


Other Links:

Goldstein Investigates Rise in Violence in LAUSD After Police Cutbacks

Recidivism of Firearm Offenders Using State Criminal History Data

Duke Center for Firearms Law

Pew Research Center: Demographics of Owning a Gun