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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

A Deadly Myth: Women, Handguns, and Self-Defense

General Material
Published Date
January, 2001

This VPC report, which analyzes 1998 data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR), indicates that a woman is far more likely to be the victim of a handgun homicide than to use a handgun in a justifiable homicide. In 1998, for every time a woman used a handgun to kill in self-defense, 101 women were murdered with a handgun. The report concludes that before a woman purchases a handgun for protection, she must consider "whether the grave risk (…) is one she is willing to accept."