Firearm Use by Offenders

Approximately 203,300 prisoners serving a sentence in a State or Federal prison in 1997 were armed when they committed the crime for which they were serving time. An estimated 18% of State prison inmates and 15% of Federal inmates reported using, carrying, or possessing a firearm during the crime for which they were sentenced. In 1991, 16% of State inmates and 12% of Federal inmates said they were armed at the time of their offense. Among all inmates in 1997, 9% of those in State prisons and 2% of those in Federal prisons said they fired a gun while committing their current offense. Of violent offenders, 18% of State inmates and 9% of Federal inmates discharged a firearm. Less than 2% of inmates serving time for a drug, property, or public-order offense fired a gun during the crime that resulted in their prison sentence. (continua…)

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