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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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Youth Advocacy Toolkit

September 1, 2023

Living as a young person in Texas comes with the reality of livingwith the gun violence crisis that is plaguing our state. At Texas Gun Sense, we aim to empower young people through education.This toolkit is designed to provide young Texans under the age of 18 with the tools and information required to be effective gun violence prevention advocates.

Texas 88th Legislative Session Report

June 1, 2023

Thanks to your support, we were able to move the needle and achieve progress: from expanding our coalition, pushing a bipartisan HB 2744 committee vote, and advancing safe gun storage education — our work had an impact.We invite you to read this full report, which serves as your guide on the legislative session and the work ahead.

Continuing Efforts To Slow Violent Crime: Promising Innovations From 3 Democrat-Led Cities

July 27, 2022

Historically, the United States' approach to crime has been reactionary and overreliant on criminal legal sanctions, and it has failed to adequately address the social, health, and behavioral factors that drive crime. Still, as the country continues to grapple with a rise in gun violence, a new wave of "tough-on-crime" rhetoric has emerged, blaming progressive policies for the increase in violent crime. While violent crime rose across the country in 2020, progressive leaders in cities are investing resources into proven public health and community-based solutions to stop gun violence before it starts, and these cities are seeing early signs of success in stemming the tide.Rather than accept calls for tough-on-crime policies, leaders in Houston, Boston, and Newark, New Jersey, have taken a more holistic approach to prevent violence before it starts. These cities are three examples of jurisdictions that have implemented comprehensive public safety plans focused not only on stopping violent crime but also on prioritizing community-driven and public health-focused innovations that break the cycle of violence.

Texas AFT Respect Us Expect Us Survey Stats

June 8, 2022

In the wake of the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, we surveyed school employees and parents about their reactions and concerns:90% of Texas school employees have worried about a shooting happening at their school.42% of those employees said the Uvalde shooting may affect their decision to return.Still, 77% of Texas school employees reject the idea that teachers should be armed in the classroom.Instead, high majorities of both Texas school employees and parents support red-flag laws (87%), required background checks (87%), raising the minimum age for gun purchases to 21 (85%), and even a ban on assault weapons (75%).Additionally, 96% of survey respondents support the Texas Legislature increasing funding for public education to invest in mental health resources and make meaningful security upgrades. The emphasis here is on meaningful: Uvalde CISD received $69,000 from a one-time, $100 million state grant to enhance physical security in Texas public schools, according to TEA data.

What Counties and Cities Can Do To Curb Gun Violence in Texas

May 25, 2022

Gun violence presents a significant challenge in Texas, approximately half of whose residents own a firearm and where a person is killed with a gun every two hours. High levels of gun ownership coupled with Texas' high rate of gun violence create a danger to public health.According to Rand Corp., an average of 46 percent of Texas residents owned a firearm from 1980 to 2016. However, this percentage likely increased after 2020, when the country saw a surge in gun sales associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast, estimates suggest that 32 percent of U.S. adults owned a firearm by the end of 2020. Texas is also home to numerous federal firearm licensed (FFL) dealers. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) indicates that as of January 2022, the state had almost 10 percent--5,089--of all FFL dealers in the country. Studies also report that thousands of gun shows6 are organized in Texas every year.

The Cost Per Shooting: Dallas, Texas

April 4, 2022

The true governmental cost of gun-violence to the City, County and State of Dallas, TX.

Alternative Dispatch Programs: A Strategy for Improving Emergency Responses and Reducing Police Violence

June 4, 2021

Approximately 240 million calls are made to 911 every year in the United States. Only a small fraction of these calls are for serious or violent crimes. Even in communities with high homicide rates such as Baltimore, Camden, New Haven, and New Orleans, fewer than 4 percent of 911 calls are related to violent crimes. Instead, the majority of these calls are related to incidents of disorderly conduct, noise complaints, suspicious people or cars, mental health issues, substance use, and homelessness.Programs that deploy public health professionals and crisis workers to situations involving mental health, substance use, and homelessness—referred to as alternative dispatch programs—offer an emerging solution that can save lives and provide critical services to those in need. Alternative dispatch programs utilize first responders who are specifically trained to resolve the emergencies that most commonly arise in communities with methods that address root problems and minimize the risk of force or deeper involvement with the justice system. These programs provide communities with a critical means for addressing crises, while also freeing police to focus on preventing and solving serious crimes.

Risk-Based Firearm Policy Recommendations for Texas

September 2, 2016

Firearm violence takes a tragic toll on society. Recent data shows there are more than 81,000 nonfatal firearm injuries and 33,000 deaths —nearly two-thirds of which are suicides —peryearin the United States. Effective solutions to reduce gun violence demand a comprehensive, evidence-based strategy. The Consortium for Risk-Based FirearmPolicy (Consortium), a group of the nation's leading experts in public health, mental health, and gun violence prevention, came together in March 2013 to address this complex issue. These esteemed researchers, practitioners, and advocates developed evidence-based gun violence prevention policy recommendations to reduce access to firearms by people who are at an increased risk of dangerous behavior. This analysis from the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) examines how Texaslawcompares to the Consortium's recommendations and outlines stepsTexasshould take immediately to prohibit individuals at increased risk of dangerous behavior from accessing firearms. The evidence supporting these recommendations is presented in the full ConsortiumReport: Guns, Public Health, and Mental Illness: An Evidence-Based Approach for State Policy.

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