Robberies

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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.

1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000

Rate per 100,000

500

400

300

200

100

0

Total

Nonfirearm

Firearm

FIGURE 3-4 Rates of aggravated assault by firearm involvement.

SOURCES: Calculated from Zawitz (2001); Maguire and Pastore (2002).