Gary Kleck, College of Criminology.

Kleck’s recent research has found that higher general gun ownership rates reduce homicide rates, probably because the violence-reducing effects of guns among noncriminal victims and prospective victims outweigh the violence-increasing effects of guns among criminals. Other research found that adding more officers to a city’s police force will not produce increased deterrence of crime.  Another recent study found that victims who resist rape attempts, including those who resist forcibly, are more likely to avoid completion of the rape and no more likely to suffer additional injuries than victims who do not resist.

Research Interests

Gun Control | Deterrence | Crime Control | Violence


Ph.D. 1979, University of Illinois at Urbana; Sociology

M.A. 1975, University of Illinois at Urbana; Sociology

B.A. 1973, University of Illinois, with High Honors and with Distinction; Sociology


1994: "The Impact of Drug Enforcement on Urban Drug Use Levels and Crime Rates." $9,500 awarded by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

1997: "Testing a Fundamental Assumption of Deterrence-Based Crime Control Policy." $80,590 awarded by the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation to study the link between actual and perceived punishment levels.

Recent Publications

Kleck, Gary. 2015. “The impact of gun ownership rates on crime rates: a methodological review of the evidence” Journal of Criminal Justice 43(1):40-48.

Kleck, Gary. 2015. “Defensive gun ownership is not a myth: why my critics still have it wrong” Politico Magazine, February 17.

Gary Kleck, James C. Barnes. 2014. “Do More Police Generate More Crime Deterrence?” Crime and Delinquency.

Jongyeon Tark and Gary Kleck. 2014. “Resisting rape: the effects of victim self-protection on rape completion and injury” Violence Against Women 23(3): 270-292.

Gary Kleck and J. C. Barnes. 2014. “Do more police generate more crime deterrence?” Crime and Delinquency 60(5):716-738.

Selected Publications

Kleck, Gary, Brion Sever, Spencer Li, and Marc Gertz. 2005. “The Missing Link in General Deterrence Research.” Criminology 43(3):623-659.

Kleck, Gary and Jongyeon Tark. 2005. “Resisting Crime: The Effects of Victim Action on the Outcomes of Crimes.” Criminology 42(4):861-909.

Kleck, Gary. 1997. Targeting Guns: Firearms and their Control. Hawthorne, N.Y.: Aldine de Gryter,

Kleck, Gary and Marc Gertz. 1995. “Armed Resistance to Crime: the Prevalence and Nature of Self-defense with a Gun.” Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 86(1):150-187.

Kleck, Gary. 1991. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. Hawthorne, N.Y.:Aldine de Gruyter. Winner of the Michael J. Hindelang Award of the American Society of Criminology.