Guns in America: Results of a Comprehensive National Survey on Firearms Ownership and Use

Publication Date

January 1997


Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig


In the debate over the proper regulation of gun commerce and use, it is concern about crime that holds center stage. One side touts guns as an important deterrent and source of protection; the other denounces them for the damage they do. It is clear that America’s vast stock of firearms has impact on our lives in a variety of ways and that it behooves us to learn what we can about it. The 1994 National Survey of the Private Ownership of Firearms (NSPOF) was designed and implemented with these concerns in mind. The NSPOF is a nationally representative telephone survey, with a list-assisted random-digit-dial sampling method. The NSPOF provides uniquely detailed data on the stock of firearms in private hands, the uses and misuses of these firearms, and the recent transactions in which firearms have changed hands. The findings are described in further detail throughout the report.

Research Design


Research Methods


Recommended Citation

Cook, P. J., Ludwig, J. (1997). Guns in America: Results of a comprehensive national survey on firearms ownership and use. Washington, DC: National Policing Institute.