This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgoz is licensed under CC 2.0

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Policing Guns and Gun Violence: A Toolkit for Practitioners and Advocates

December 21, 2020

The NNSC, with support from the Joyce Foundation, led a project to develop the exercise of police-led discretion towards incidents involving violence, guns, and high-risk people. In recent years, police departments have expanded the formal use of discretion in attempts to minimize criminal justice contact for first-time, nonviolent offenses, particularly those involving substance abuse, mental health, or youth. Police also exercise discretion in more informal, ad hoc ways with regard to incidents or potential incidents of violence, but that practice is far less common and studied. The NNSC brought together scholars, law enforcement officials, and civil society leaders to outline the space for discretion and unearth lessons and insights from the existing use of discretion in responding to violence and gun crime. The project allowed us to build towards new applications and practices of discretion that minimize harmful criminal justice involvement while advancing public safety and create two resources for the field: a white paper and a toolkit for practitioners and advocates.