How Cities Can Combat Illegal Guns and Gun Violence

by Stephen P. Teret; Jon S. Vernick; Daniel W. Webster

Oct 1, 2006
Though gun violence peaked in American cities in the early 1990s, firearms are still used in more than 30 homicides per day in the U.S. One major challenge is how to stanch the flow of guns to criminals. Researchers from the School's Center for Gun Policy and Research have recently zeroed in on illegal sales by licensed dealers (the dominant means of diverting guns into illegal markets). These sales include unrecorded, "off the books" transactions and "straw purchases" in which a person unable to pass a federal background check relies on another individual for the purchase. Daniel Webster, MPH, ScD '91, Center co-director, wants to increase the accountability of gun dealers. This report outlines how to reduce illegal gun trafficking, reduce illegal gun carrying, and use technology to prevent gun violence.
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