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Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review
FIGURE 3-4 Rates of aggravated assault by firearm involvement.
SOURCES: Calculated from Zawitz (2001); Maguire and Pastore (2002).
In 2000, the NCVS and the UCR provided similar estimates for 157,623 firearm-related robberies in the United States—157,623 (NCVS) and 166,807 (UCR)—remarkably consistent estimates given the methodological and coverage differences between the two data sources. For all weapon categories besides firearms the NCVS reports higher estimates than the UCR. The close correspondence on firearms therefore suggests that most firearm-related robberies are reported to the police. The NCVS data indicate that 90 percent of firearm-related robberies in 2000 were committed with a handgun.
Figure 3-5 presents rates of robbery stratified by firearm involvement for the years 1974 to 2000. The robbery rate rose and fell several times before reaching its peak of 271.9 per 100,000 in 1991; the rate then decreased by nearly half to 144.6 per 100,000 in 2000. Firearms robberies accounted for 24 percent of the rise from 1974 to 1991 and 39 percent of the decline from 1991 to 2000. Like the trends for aggravated assault and in contrast to the trends for murder, the robbery rate was not much influenced by the rates of offenses committed with firearms.