FBI undercounts armed citizens thwarting active shootings, data reportedly contains ‘massive errors’

The Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) has released a report that purportedly shows the FBI’s data is riddled with “massive errors” when it comes to counting the number of times armed citizens have stopped shooting incidents.

According to the study, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has seriously underreported the number of times a good guy with a gun has actively stopped a bad guy with one over the last eight years. The report concludes that some undercounting has been “by an order of more than 10.”

“Although collecting such data is fraught with challenges, some see a pattern of distortion in the FBI numbers because the errors almost exclusively go one way, minimizing the life-saving actions of armed citizens,” the report states.

It shows that 34.4 percent of active shootings were stopped by armed citizens between 2014 and 2021. However, the FBI asserted that only 4.4 percent of active shootings were thwarted by armed citizens during that same time period. That’s a huge discrepancy.

“All in, 360 active shooter incidents were identified by CPRC between 2014 and 2021, with 124 stopped by armed citizens. The FBI identified 252 active shooter incidents during the same time period, with only 11 thwarted by armed citizens,” Fox News reported.

“Whether deliberately through bias or just incompetence, the FBI database of active shooters cannot be trusted,” Gary Mauser, who is an emeritus professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada, charges in the report.

The definition of an active shooter by the FBI is “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” That definition conveniently does not include crimes such as robberies or gang-related incidents along with other criminal activities.

In the end, according to the report, the discrepancies boil down to misclassified shootings and overlooked incidents.

“The research argues that the FBI misclassified at least five cases, including two cases where citizens with valid firearm licenses thwarted a shooting, but the citizens were not listed in the report because police ultimately apprehended the suspects. The other three misidentified cases include one where ‘the FBI simply failed to mention citizen engagement at all,’ and two others that categorized armed civilians as armed security members,” Fox News noted.

“The discrepancies also are reflected in the FBI’s apparent oversight in not including 25 cases that likely would have been mass shootings and thwarted by armed citizens, according to the report. That is in addition to another 83 active shooting incidents that were not detailed in FBI data,” the media outlet continued.

Elisjsha Dicken stopping a mass shooting in a mall in Indiana is a great example of an incident where a good guy with a gun didn’t hesitate, took down a bad guy, and saved untold lives by doing so. The 22-year-old was lauded for taking action and stopping a killer in his tracks.

“His actions were nothing short of heroic,” Greenwood Police Chief James Ison said referring to Dicken. “He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun. He was very proficient in that, very tactically sound. And as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him.”

Leftists attempted to minimize the incident, claiming that it was rare for a legal gun owner to stop a mass shooting. They referred to the FBI’s flawed data as proof.

The CPRC went to the FBI in August and pointed out the reporting errors in its data, but “the FBI declined to address them.”

“The FBI works proactively to identify incidents that meet the scope of our study, using internal FBI holdings and repositories, official law enforcement reports (when obtainable), as well as open-source data. There is no mandated database collection or central intake point for reporting active-shooter incidents, which exists for other crimes. If additional incidents meeting FBI criteria are identified after the publication of the document, every effort is made to factor those incidents into future reporting,” an FBI active-shooter report states.

The CPRC study also noted how often armed citizens stopped potential mass shootings or mass shootings in areas where guns are allowed, as opposed to gun-free zones.

The data shows that between 2014 and 2021, there were 204 active shooting incidents in areas that allowed people to carry firearms. Out of the 204 cases, 104 of them were stopped by an armed citizen. That means 51 percent of the attacks were thwarted by people legally carrying concealed handguns.

“When I was at the Department of Justice, they just refused to go and look at this. And that is whether the active shooting event occurred in a place where guns are banned. And the reason why that’s important is that if you have a place where guns are banned, it’s very likely that the law-abiding civilian is going to obey the rules that are there, and you can’t expect them to stop these types of attacks,” Crime Prevention Research Center founder and president John Lott told Fox News Digital.

“There is no reason to think that the news media covers all the cases where civilians stopped attacks. And the farther back in time we go, the more cases we are likely to miss,” the report contends.

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