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 Glasgow licensed under CC 2.0

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Guns and Anti-Government Extremism in Nevada

July 20, 2022

The rise in violent white supremacist and anti-government extremism has permeated across the United States in recent years. All eyes were on Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, when—after years of rising tensions instigated by former President Donald Trump and his supporters—hundreds of militia groups and right-wing extremists attacked the Capitol. More than one year later, on May 14, 2022, a white 18-year-old espousing the racist "great replacement theory" fatally shot 10 Black people in a Buffalo, New York, grocery store. This white supremacist conspiracy theory posits that white people across the globe are going to be replaced by people of color.These devastating attacks did not occur in a vacuum. Gun violence prevention advocates had cautioned for months that the dangerous rhetoric could manifest in violent, deadly extremism; however, many did not heed the warning. In 2016, the Center for American Progress—in partnership with the Institute for a Progressive Nevada—released a detailed report on anti-government violent extremism in Nevada that echoed across the country. Nevada has an infamous history of violent extremist and anti-government actions by some residents. Now, the state is at a crossroads, experiencing rising extremist rhetoric alongside calls for weaker gun laws that, if combined, could be devastating and result in higher levels of extremist violence.This report is an update on the 2016 Center for American Progress report and examines how the combination of rising violent extremist ideologies and weak gun laws can lead to disastrous results for state residents. This report also presents the following policy solutions, which can be used to prevent future violent extremist attacks:Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.Ban guns at polling places.Implement waiting periods for purchasing guns.Enact preemption laws.Address hate crimes.Enact a licensing law.

6 Policies To Reduce Gun Violence in Nevada

January 27, 2021

Nevada has been the site of both tremendous tragedy and significant progress when it comes to gun violence. The state was the location of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, when a gunman opened fire on concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500 others. The state was also home to one of the most notorious standoffs between armed violent extremists and federal law enforcement officers at the Bundy ranch in 2014—an event that foreshadowed the recent rise in violent anti-government extremist efforts. Nevada experiences some of the highest rates of gun violence in the nation, with the 14th-highest rate of firearm deaths from 2009 through 2018. In addition, Nevada suffers from a gun death rate that is 40 percent higher than the national average. The state also has a substantially elevated gun suicide rate—60 percent higher than the national average. The burden of gun violence is not felt equally across Nevada communities: While only 9 percent of the state's population identifies as Black, Black victims represent 34 percent of overall gun murder victims. Nevada's youth are disproportionately affected by gun violence, and shootings are the leading cause of death for young people in the state.Despite these sobering statistics, Nevada has also been a bright spot on the map when it comes to enacting strong new gun laws in the wake of tragedy. In 2016, Nevada voters approved a ballot measure to enact universal background checks in the state, and in 2019, the Legislature approved a number of gun violence prevention bills, including one to ban bump stocks, the deadly device used in the Route 91 attack that mimics the rate of fire of a fully automatic firearm. The Legislature also passed a bill creating an extreme risk protection order, enabling family members or law enforcement officials to seek a court order to temporarily remove firearms from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others, and strengthened the law to prevent children from having easy access to firearms.While these laws are critical parts of the solution to address gun violence in Nevada, many gaps in state law remain. Overall, the state only earns a C+ grade for the strength of its gun laws from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence's annual gun law scorecard. More can be done to protect the lives of all Nevadans. If enacted, these six recommendations for additional gun safety laws in Nevada would help keep all communities across the state safe from gun violence. With Nevada's Legislature only in session every other year, it is crucial that it consider these measures during the upcoming session beginning in February.

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data

September 1, 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice has found that women are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes committed by intimate partners than men, especially when a weapon is involved. Moreover, women are much more likely to be victimized at home than in any other place.This study provides a stark reminder that domestic violence and guns make a deadly combination. According to reports submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), firearms are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes. Instead, they are all too often used to inflict harm on the very people they were intended to protect.

The Virtual Loophole: A Survey of Online Gun Sales

August 1, 2013

How easy is it to buy a firearm from a complete stranger without a background check? In an analysis of internet gun sales in 10 states from a single website during the months of June and July, Third Way found more than 15,000 guns -- onethirdof which were semi-automatics -- available for sale without background checks at any given moment. In 2,000 web ads in these states, buyers were intentionally seeking private sellers where background checks are specifically exempt from federal law. This report focuses on online sales in the 10 states where Senators were initially targeted but failed to support bipartisan legislation to close this virtual loophole.

Purchasing Firearms

Gun Show Undercover: Report on Illegal Sales at Gun Shows

October 1, 2009

Every weekend, thousands of Americans in all parts of the country attend local gun shows. Organized by gun-owners associations or professional promoters, the shows offer a chance to browse among dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of vendors. For many Americans, gun shows are a family outing. For the gun enthusiast, there are a huge variety of guns -- new and used long guns and handguns, historical curios or related accessories -- and for the general shopper there are often other vendors selling clothing, books, or local crafts. The vast majority of vendors and customers at gun shows are law abiding citizens out to enjoy a day with others who share a common interest. Unfortunately, gun shows are also considered a significant source of guns used in crimes. According to ATF, 30 percent of guns involved in federal illegal gun trafficking investigations are connected in some way to gun shows. In response to these concerns, the City of New York launched an undercover investigation of illegal sales at seven gun shows across three states. The investigation shows it is both feasible and easy for criminals to illegally buy guns at gun shows. With no records of private sales at gun shows, it is almost impossible to know the exact extent of criminal activity that occurs there.11 In fact, there are no de?nitive answers to many basic questions one might ask about gun shows: the number of gun shows in America; how many guns are sold at gun shows; or how many private sellers operate at gun shows. The very aspects of gun shows that make them attractive to criminals -- the lack of background checks and recordkeeping -- also make it impossible to gather comprehensive information about undocumented sales that occur at those shows. To shed light on the practices of ?rearms sellers at gun shows, the City of New York launched an undercover investigation of illegal sales. The investigation covered seven gun shows spread across three states: Nevada, Ohio, and Tennessee. Working undercover, agents conducted "integrity tests" of 47 sellers -- both licensed dealers and private sellers -- by simulating illegal gun sales at gun shows.

Purchasing Firearms

Gun Shows Across a Multistate American Gun Market: Observational Evidence of the Effects of Regulatory Policies

June 1, 2007

Objective: To describe gun shows and assess the impact of increased regulation on characteristics linked to their importance as sources of guns used in crime.Design: Cross-sectional, observational.Subjects: Data were collected at a structured sample of 28 gun shows in California, which regulates these events and prohibits undocumented private party gun sales; and in Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Florida -- all leading sources of California's crime guns -- where these restrictions do not exist.Main outcome measures: Size of shows, measured by numbers of gun vendors and people in attendance; number and nature of guns for sale by gun vendors; measures of private party gun sales and illegal surrogate ("straw") gun purchases.Results: Shows in comparison states were larger, but the number of attendees per gun vendor was higher in California. None of these differences was statistically significant. Armed attendees were more common in other states (median 5.7%, interquartile range (IQR) 3.9 - 10.0%) than in California (median 1.1%, IQR 0.5 - 2.2%), p = 0.0007. Thirty percent of gun vendors both in California and elsewhere were identifiable as licensed firearm retailers. There were few differences in the types or numbers of guns offered for sale; vendors elsewhere were more likely to sell assault weapons (34.9% and 13.3%, respectively; p = 0.001). Straw purchases were more common in the comparison states (rate ratio 6.6 (95% CI 0.9 to 49.1), p = 0.06).Conclusions: California's regulatory policies were associated with a decreased incidence of anonymous, undocumented gun sales and illegal straw purchases at gun shows. No significant adverse effects of these policies were observed.

Purchasing Firearms