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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Featured

25 Years of Impactful Grant Making: Gun Violence Prevention Research Supported by the Joyce Foundation

August 15, 2019

This document reviews the Joyce Foundation's 25-year history of grant making to advance gun violence prevention research. Since 1993, the Joyce Foundation has provided support to researchers who have produced hundreds of scientific publications and innumerable insights about gun violence in the United States, and its solutions. This is necessarily an incomplete accounting, but provides an approximate measure of the unique impact of the Joyce Foundation's grant making during a critical time period when few other private or public funders supported the field.

Policy Recommendations & Models
Featured

High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines are the Common Thread Running Through Most Mass Shootings in the United States

July 1, 2017

Since 1980, there have been at least 56 mass shootings (3 or more fatalities) where the shooter used high-capacity ammunition magazines. A total of 507 people were killed in these shootings and 497 were wounded. This number is likely a significant undercount of actual incidents since there is no consistent collection or reporting of this data. Even in many high-profile shootings information on magazine capacity is not released or reported.

Statistics & Surveys
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America's Complex Relationship With Guns: An In-depth Look at the Atttitudes and Experiences of U.S. Adults

June 22, 2017

A new Pew Research Center survey attempts to better understand the complex relationship Americans have with guns and how that relationship intersects with their policy views.The survey finds that Americans have broad exposure to guns, whether they personally own one or not. At least two-thirds have lived in a household with a gun at some point in their lives. And roughly seven-in-ten – including 55% of those who have never personally owned a gun – say they have fired a gun at some point. Today, three-in-ten U.S. adults say they own a gun, and an additional 36% say that while they don't own one now, they might be open to owning a gun in the future. A third of adults say they don't currently own a gun and can't see themselves ever doing so.To be sure, experiences with guns aren't always positive: 44% of U.S. adults say they personally know someone who has been shot, either accidentally or intentionally, and about a quarter (23%) say they or someone in their family have been threatened or intimidated by someone using a gun. Half see gun violence as a very big problem in the U.S. today, although gun owners and non-owners offer divergent views on this.Gun owners and non-owners are also deeply divided on several gun policy proposals, but there is agreement on some restrictions, such as preventing those with mental illnesses and those on federal watch lists from buying guns. Among gun owners, there is a diversity of views on gun policy, driven in large part by party affiliation.The nationally representative survey of 3,930 U.S. adults, including 1,269 gun owners, was conducted March 13 to 27 and April 4 to 18, 2017, using the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel.

Statistics & Surveys

Improving Community Safety Through Public Health Strategies: Lessons From Atlanta and Milwaukee

July 20, 2021

This report offers early lessons and recommendations from work the Annie E. Casey Foundation is supporting in Atlanta and Milwaukee to prevent gun violence. These communities are part of a national movement to increase safety and heal trauma by examining root causes and addressing these issues from a public health and racial justice perspective. Residents in both cities are shaping and leading safety strategies with the support of local nonprofits and other public and private partners. Their stories highlight the many ways that philanthropic and system leaders can help catalyze alternative public safety models and support their development and implementation — including helping to establish a new narrative about what it takes to keep communities safe and building and sharing evidence on effective public health interventions.As the work featured in this report shows, both public and private entities have roles to play in supporting a public health approach to safety. Residents in Atlanta, with funding and support from Casey and other investors, established a neighborhood-based advisory group and began implementing the Cure Violence model. In Milwaukee, another place where the Foundation is supporting Cure Violence, the movement to reimagine public safety is being driven by the city's Office of Violence Prevention. Each community developed strategies and programs based on local goals, needs and circumstances. One common thread underpinning their efforts has been the purposeful engagement and inclusion of people living in the areas directly affected by violence.

Cost Estimate of Federal Funding for Gun Violence Research and Data Infrastructure

July 13, 2021

In 2019 and 2020, Arnold Ventures and the Joyce Foundation released separate yet complementary reports on the topic of gun violence in the United States. Both reports reflect the work of expert advisory panels tasked with identifying gaps in gun violence information, but each considers different challenges. Arnold Ventures engaged NORC at the University of Chicago to facilitate an Expert Panel to consider the existing gun violence data infrastructure. At the same time, the Joyce Foundation engaged an advisory panel of scientific experts (Expert Advisory Panel) to consider the gun violence research agenda.    Taken together, these reports: 1) frame the topic of gun violence as a common, widespread, and costly problem in urban, suburban, and rural areas; 2) provide evidence to support that gun violence affects adults and children and is among the leading causes of preventable death and injury; 3) assert that gun violence research and the data infrastructure supporting that work is under-funded by the federal government; and 4) recommend that policymakers take several actions to combat gun violence. Overall, the NORC Expert Panel and the Joyce Foundation's Expert Advisory Panel conclude that there are significant gaps in gun violence information which weaken the ability of policymakers to address the problem of gun violence in the United States.  Arnold Ventures and the Joyce Foundation commissioned Health Management Associates (HMA) to conduct a cost estimate of the federal government implementing the recommendations of these two reports. HMA conducted its cost estimate as an independent third-party with the autonomy to evaluate all aspects of the data infrastructure recommendations and research agenda dimensions.

Gun Violence is a Public Health Crisis

February 20, 2021

Guns have the potential to greatly amplify violence, as they can inflict serious — often deadly —injuries on many people in a short time. In the United States, gun violence is a major public healthproblem and a leading cause of premature death.

The Next 100 Questions: A Research Agenda For Ending Gun Violence

January 11, 2021

This report outlines key areas of focus for public and private sector efforts to build the science of gun violence prevention with actionable findings for policy makers and practitioners over the next five years. The report was written in collaboration with an advisory panel of scientific experts and includes input from dozens of researchers in the field.Against the backdrop of a national surge of gun violence and gun purchasing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the report arrives at a moment of optimism for gun violence research efforts. Congress recently renewed $25 million in funding for those efforts, and the incoming federal administration has committed to comprehensively addressing gun violence as a public health epidemic.The renewed federal funding into gun violence research is a good start, but there is much more to learn about reducing gun deaths and injuries in the U.S. The report identifies key questions in 10 dimensions of gun violence:1) Firearm suicide 2) Community-based gun violence 3) Intimate partner violence 4) Shootings by law enforcement 5) Mass shootings 6) Unintentional shootings 7) Impacts of lawful gun ownership 8) Gun access during high-risk periods 9) Racial disparities and the criminal justice system 10) Firearm-related technology.

Reducing Violence and Building Trust: Data to Guide Enforcement of Gun Laws in Baltimore

August 28, 2020

This report is the product of the Reducing Violence, Building Trust: Data to Guide Gun Law Enforcement in Baltimore project. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research (JHCGPR) collected and analyzed data relevant to the enforcement of laws restricting the possession of firearms by prohibited individuals and unlawful carrying of concealed firearms to provide data-driven recommendations for more fair and effective practices. The project was designed to help inform the response to the dual crises in Baltimore—extraordinarily high rates of gun violence, and gun law enforcement practices that, in some cases, have violated the law and more generally weakened community members' trust in the police.

The Other Epidemic: Fatal Police Shootings in the Time of COVID -19

August 18, 2020

This report examines whether circumstances surrounding the public health crisis — unprecedented societal isolation combined with relaxed police department routine enforcement — has led to a change in the frequency with which the police fatally shoot people in the U.S. Using data from The Washington Post's "Fatal Force" database, this report provides national and state-level data on fatal shootings by police since 2015, including during COVID-19. Our analysis reveals that the police have continued to fatally shoot people at the same rate during the first six months of 2020 as they did over the same period from 2015 to 2019. The report also demonstrates that Black, Native American/Indigenous, and Latinx people are still more likely than white people to be shot and killed by police. The report puts forth a set of recommendations designed to reduce police departments' role, presence, responsibilities, and funding, including dramatically transforming use-of-force laws, and instead reinvest into community-based services that are better suited to respond to actual community needs. These measures can lead to a reduction in police interactions, and in turn, help put an end to racist police violence.

The Gun Industry in America: The Overlooked Player in a National Crisis

August 6, 2020

This report discusses the gaps in the current law regarding gun industry regulation and oversight. It then offers a series of policy solutions to address these gaps, including:Increasing oversight of gun manufacturers, importers, exporters, and dealersRequiring licensed gun dealers to implement security measures to prevent theftStrengthening the National Firearms Act review and determination processStrengthening oversight of homemade guns, ammunition, and silencersGiving the Consumer Product Safety Commission authority to regulate guns  and ammunition for safetyRepealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms ActThe high rates of gun death experienced in this country are not inevitable or, as some in the gun lobby claim, "the price of freedom." There is much more that can be done to provide better oversight and regulation of the gun industry, which would have a significant impact on reducing gun violence and making all of our communities safer.

Unfinished Business: Gun Violence on the Policy Agenda

July 21, 2020

To better understand recent state policymaking in New York, researchers analyzed the 161 firearm-related bills introduced by the governor, Senate, and Assembly in New York between 2018 and 2019 to identify trends in legislative interest and activity.

Gun Violence and COVID-19

June 16, 2020

The US has seen the collision of two major public health crises: COVID-19 and gun violence. A comprehensive understanding of how this collision will affect Americans and the factors driving the increase in gun violence during the pandemic is still developing, but there are a few takeaways: While millions of Americans rushed out to purchase new firearms in the middle of a global pandemic, thinking they were buying safety, research shows that they are in fact exposing themselves and their families to higher risks of suicide, homicide, unintentional shootings, and intimate partner violence.