The federal agency responsible for statistics on gun ownership removed its website's references to its own data after gun control groups complained that the information made it harder to enforce laws.
The Daily Caller reports that according to an email exchange between the CDC and gun control groups, the issue is about the number of times people use guns for defensive purposes.
The emails show that the number could be as high as 2.5 million based on a review of various studies. The groups that are pushing for stricter gun control noted that the figure was based on a study by Gary Kleck, a criminologist. The CDC then took down the statistics, and the groups complained that it made it harder to pass laws related to gun ownership.
In an email to the CDC, Mark Bryant, the founder of the Gun Violence Archive, noted that the number needed to be "killed, buried, and buried again" in order to have any value. He said that the figure was misleading and used out of context.
The number was briefly featured in the CDC's "fast facts" section on its website. However, it was later removed.
According to the report, the data that was removed came from the CDC's own study. The lobbying campaign for stricter gun control started months before the study was released. It culminated with a meeting between the agency and three groups last summer. The report noted that the introduction of the groups by Dick Durbin's office and the White House helped them reach the agency's top officials.