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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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.

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.

Remembering and Honoring Pulse: Anti-LGBTQ Bias and Guns Are Taking Lives of Countless LGBTQ People

June 11, 2020

On June 12, 2016, a man fatally shot 49 people and wounded 58 more at Pulse, an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, FL. The victims, primarily LGBTQ and Latinx, were senselessly killed in what was supposed to be a safe space while celebrating their shared identity and Pride month. This horrific tragedy changed the LGBTQ community forever, catalyzing the movement to unite behind gun violence prevention. Pulse is a reminder of the work that remains to end the acts of hate that wound and kill LGBTQ Americans today -- violence that all too often is perpetrated with guns.As the nation marks four years since this tragedy, we must never lose sight of the unfulfilled hopes, the families shattered and the love lost in this preventable act of mass murder. The thousands more killed by gun violence since Pulse underscore the glaring failure of our elected officials to take common sense steps to combat the scourge of gun violence that plagues our nation. Advocates and people across this country must remain as resolved as ever to honor those taken with action, and work to ensure that all of us may live safe from violence.

Deconstructing Mass Shootings: Exploring Opportunities for Intervention

October 24, 2019

This policy report refocuses our attention from why to how mass public shootings happen. Mass shootings are deconstructed into a series of stages and decisions and various opportunities for intervention are explored. The motivations, preparatory behaviors, execution, and conclusion of 318 mass public shootings in the United States between 1966 and 2017 are analyzed. Finally, potential policy solutions to exploit these opportunities for intervention are introduced.

Building an Evidence-Base for Gun Violence Prevention: Research and Data Needs

September 1, 2019

Gun violence prevention research is woefully underfunded, receiving significantly less research funding and scientific attention compared with other leading causes of death. Using a methodology that calculated expected levels of research investment based on mortality rates, one study estimated that between 2004 and 2015 gun violence received just 1.6 percent of the federal research support projected ($1.4 billion predicted, $22 million observed) and had 4.5 percent of the volume of publications anticipated (38,897 publications predicted, 1,738 observed) (Stark and Shah 2017).

Gun Violence Through a Human Rights Lens

April 23, 2019

This report discusses the impact of gun violence on human life in America from a human rights perspective: the right to life, the security of person, health and mental health, the right to education, the rights of children, the rights of women, and the right to be treated equally under the law. Creating minimum standards for the regulation of firearms to prevent them from being used by individuals to abuse human rights is an important step forward.

What Are the Most Effective Policies in Reducing Gun Homicides?

March 29, 2019

This research compares the impact of multiple gun laws at the same time and indicates which laws appear to be most strongly associated with lower rates of firearm homicide. Ultimately, the goal is to identify the types of laws that appear to have the greatest impact. This policy brief will help state policymakers navigate the scientific evidence regarding the impact of state firearm laws on gun-related homicide. 

Assault Weapons, Mass Shootings, and Options for Lawmakers

March 22, 2019

The focus of this brief is assault-style rifles, the new gun control measures passed in the U.S. at the end of 2018, the little to no action taken by the federal government, and actions taken by individual states to ban and regulate the sale and possession of assault-style weapons.

The "Safe Student" Scholarship: Expanding Education Choice Options to Improve School Safety

August 3, 2018

School safety is an issue that policymakers have struggled to address for decades. Current federal policy provides an Unsafe School Choice Option that has been largely overlooked. States should ensure that implementation of the policy allows all students who are in unsafe environments to transfer to a safe and effective school. At the same time, state policymakers should immediately provide school choice options to children who are direct victims of school violence or bullying, and to those students in schools with a high rate of such victimization, through the introduction of "safe student" scholarships. 

Can Mass Shootings be Stopped? To Address the Problem, We Must Better Understand the Phenomenon

May 22, 2018

The mass shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, happened nearly two decades ago, yet it remains etched in the national consciousness. Columbine spurred a national debate — from personal safety to the security of schools, workplaces, and other locations and to broader considerations of guns and mental illness. To this day, communities still are grappling to find solutions to the complex and multifaceted nature of mass shootings.

America's Youth Under Fire: The Devastating Impact of Gun Violence on Young People

May 4, 2018

Young people in the United States bear the brunt of the nation's gun violence and are leading efforts to stop it.

Education Campaigns and Clinical Interventions for Promoting Safe Storage

January 1, 2018

Safe storage of firearms may prevent suicide and unintentional injuries and deaths. There is research evidence that child-access prevention laws, which require safe storage practices, can reduce suicides and unintentional injuries and deaths. While there is limited evidence that education campaigns have successfully promoted safe storage of firearms, there is evidence that clinicians who counsel families to store guns safely can influence behavior, particularly when devices, such as gun locks, are given away for free.