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Heritage Launches Defensive Gun Use Database

Heritage Launches Defensive Gun Use Database

The Heritage Foundation launched a first-of-its-kind database that highlights confirmed instances where gun owners across the United States used firearms for defensive purposes. The project builds off of a monthly Daily Signal series authored by Heritage legal fellow and Second Amendment expert Amy Swearer.

“It’s important to keep telling the stories of gun owners whose liberties, lives, and livelihoods were protected because of the freedoms guaranteed in the Second Amendment,” said Swearer. “We’re very excited for this database to go live and believe it will be an important tool to push back against common gun control narratives. We will continue to expand and improve the database as more stories of lives saved emerge.”

The database uses an interactive map that allows users to locate instances of defensive gun use in their own states and cities. Clicking on a specific dot on the map provides the user with an instant break-down of important information for the defensive gun use the dot represents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost all major studies on defensive gun use have found that Americans use their firearms defensively between 500,000 and 3 million times each year. There’s good reason to believe, however, that most defensive gun uses are never reported to law enforcement, much less picked up by local or national media outlets.

For this reason, the DGU Database is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all defensive gun uses that occur in the United States. Such a database would be nearly impossible to compile. Instead, this database features only cases that could be discovered and verified through public sources, and where the evidence indicated no wrongdoing on the part of the gun owner.

For more information on the Heritage Foundation please visit

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