CHICAGO, July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A two-day, independent study commissioned by National Gun Victims Action Council of 77 volunteer gun carriers with differing levels of shooting skills has revealed that carrying a gun in public does not provide self-defense unless the carrier is properly trained and maintains their skill level.
The research which asked the question Does the Quality and Frequency of Training Determine the Realistic Use of Firearms by Citizens for Self-Defense? was conducted by professors of criminology, sociology and quantitative research at Mount Saint Mary's University, Maryland at the Prince George's County Police Department's training facility on April 9 and 10, 2015. (full report here.)
Using the same advanced simulating system that Prince George's County police officers train with, volunteer participants were placed in three real-life scenarios—a carjacking, an armed robbery and a suspected larceny. ( videos here)
Participants already had their guns drawn so they would not lose time retrieving them from holsters. Shooter's reactions, including judgment and accuracy, were measured and recorded.
In the carjacking scenario, most if not all gun carriers would have been "killed," regardless of their training level. In the armed robbery scenario, all the carriers who engaged the robbers got "killed." (Many did not engage because the robbers did not see them so they didn't feel threatened.) In the larceny scenario, no one was "killed" because the suspect did not have a gun. However, the unarmed suspect was "killed" by overzealous carriers who used lethal force before ascertaining whether he had a gun.
In all scenarios, civilians, including trained ones, were unable to approach the accuracy and judgment of trained police officers.
"For citizens to realistically defend themselves they must have a high skill level. To attain that level requires extensive initial training in the classroom, on the firing range and with real-life scenarios," said Joe Vince, Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Mount St. Mary's. "To maintain such levels, semi-annual skill maintenance training, like what police officers go through, is required."
"The study should be used to inform public policy," said Elliot Fineman, CEO of National Gun Victims Action Council. "It proves that high skill levels must be attained and maintained for realistic self-defense when carrying in public. Just like an athlete's skills deteriorate without ongoing training, low-skill carriers cannot defend themselves and are a threat to public safety."
Five states have passed laws banning the passing of any legislation that would require a gun carrier to have any training and nine more are planning to do the same. The NRA says that "citizens are capable of deciding for themselves" about firearms training and that training requirements are "more unnecessary regulation." Yet studies overwhelmingly show that concealed carriers don't reduce crime and that a gun being carried in public creates a real threat to public safety (Harvard Injury Control Research Center 2015, Stanford Report 2014, Violence Policy Center 2002 etc.)
"We require training and maintenance for every potentially dangerous product, including cars--yet guns are allowed to be used without training. This must stop and this study proves it," said Elliot Fineman.
To view the multimedia assets with this and previous releases, click here.
National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) is a non-profit network of 14 million gun victims, survivors, the faith community and ordinary people leveraging their buying power to change America's gun laws. NGVAC initiated the successful action that caused Starbucks to change its gun policy. NGVAC pursues novel legal strategies to reduce gun violence and encourages corporate involvement. NGVAC can be found at www.gunvictimsaction.org.
SOURCE National Gun Victims Action Council