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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The Relationship Between Community Violence and Trauma: How Violence Affects Learning, Health, and Behavior

July 12, 2017

Research on trauma is frequently featured in mainstream news outlets, pointing to its connection to a range of behavioral and health outcomes. While trauma can have multiple interpretations, for the purposes of this report, it is the result of experiencing or witnessing chronic and sustained violence, or specific events that can have lasting effects on individuals. Researchers have identified 13 distinct types of trauma, including community violence. Community violence is an umbrella term that encompasses experiencing or witnessing firearms violence as well as exposure to drug markets. In addition to the commonly understood, more immediate impacts of gun violence on the victims and their friends and family, this report will provide an overview of the consequences of community violence on health and well-being, specifically illuminating the impact of trauma caused by the longer-term, frequently cumulative effects of living with the fear of violence. This report is intended for members of the gun violence prevention community and policymakers and is designed to provide a foundation of key concepts and research on trauma in the context of gun violence in an easily accessible format.

Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities

April 28, 2016

Groundbreaking research by Benenson Strategy Group (BSG) and Lester and Associates was released on April 28, 2016 alongside a policy roadmap that lays out a series of proposed policy solutions for gun violence based on conversations with community stakeholders in Richmond, VA, Milwaukee, WI, and Stockton, CA. The research and report grew out of a project launched last year by The Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies, The Urban Institute and The Joyce Foundation. The study found that African Americans and Latinos believe that fixing the gun violence crisis in the United States is a pathway to addressing issues with the criminal justice system, including police-community relationships and mass incarceration.

Policy Recommendations & Models

Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map to Safer Communities

April 1, 2016

Gun violence inflicts a devastating toll on communities of color, but the justice system response to this violence frequently destabilizes neighborhoods and damages police-community relations. To develop a better response, the Urban Institute, Joyce Foundation, and Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies convened more than 100 people from communities affected by violence. We learned that violence prevention demands a holistic set of solutions. Limiting access to firearms is part of the solution, but a comprehensive strategy will also require improving police-community relations, investing in community services, and facilitating community leadership in violence prevention efforts.

Hispanic Victims of Lethal Firearms Violence in the United States (2015)

July 17, 2015

During the period 2000 to 2013, the overall U.S. Hispanic population grew 53.3 percent. This study is intended to report the latest national information available at the time of writing on Hispanic homicide victimization and suicide in the United States, the role of firearms in homicide and suicide, and overall gun death figures. Recognizing this demographic landscape, the importance of documenting such victimization is clear.

Statistics & Surveys

Support for a Comprehensive Background Check Requirement and Expanded Denial Criteria for Firearm Transfers: Findings from the Firearms Licensee Survey

November 8, 2013

Federal and state policies on eligibility to purchase and possess firearms and background check requirements for firearm transfers are undergoing intensive review and, in some cases, modification. Our objective in this third report from the Firearms Licensee Survey (FLS) is to assess support among federally licensed firearms retailers (gun dealers and pawnbrokers) for a background check requirement on all firearm transfers and selected criteria for denying the purchase of handguns based on criminal convictions, alcohol abuse, and serious mental illness. The FLS was conducted by mail during June–August, 2011 on a random sample of 1,601 licensed dealers and pawnbrokers in 43 states who were believed to sell at least 50 firearms annually. The response rate was 36.9 %, typical of establishment surveys using such methods. Most respondents (55.4 %) endorsed a comprehensive background check requirement; 37.5 % strongly favored it. Support was more common and stronger among pawnbrokers than dealers and among respondents who believed that "it is too easy for criminals to get guns." Support was positively associated with many establishment characteristics, including sales of inexpensive handguns, sales that were denied when the purchasers failed background checks, and sales of firearms that were later subjected to ownership tracing, and were negatively associated with sales at gun shows. Support for three existing and nine potential criteria for denial of handgun purchase involving criminal activity, alcohol abuse, and mental illness exceeded 90 % in six cases and fell below 2/3 in one. Support again increased with sales of inexpensive handguns and denied sales and decreased with sales of tactical (assault-type) rifles. In this survey, which was conducted prior to mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Newtown, Connecticut; and elsewhere, licensed firearm sellers exhibited moderate support for a comprehensive background check requirement and very strong support for additional criteria for denial of handgun purchases. In both cases, support was associated with the intensity of respondents' exposure to illegal activities.

Policy Recommendations & Models; Purchasing Firearms

Lost Youth: A County-by-County Analysis of 2011 California Homicide Victims Ages 10 to 24

March 1, 2013

Homicide is the second leading cause of death for California youth and young adults ages 10 to 24 years old. In 2010, the most recent year for which complete data is available from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), homicides in California were outpaced only by unintentional injuries -- the majority of which were motor vehicle fatalities -- as the leading cause of death for this age group. Of the nearly 700 homicides reported, 85 percent were committed with firearms. Nationally in 2010, California had the 14th highest homicide rate for youth and young adults ages 10 to 24.The primary goal of this series of reports is to offer localized information on the county level in California to better inform citizens,advocates, service providers, and policymakers. This third edition of this report includes a new section that begins with an assessment of the known impact of "tough on crime" policies (the all-too-frequent default response to violence in general, and youth violence in particular), reviews current national and California-specific prevention-focused violence-reduction efforts, and concludes by highlighting three local California programs that have demonstrated success: Second Chance Family and Youth Services in Salinas; Youth Alive! in Oakland; and, the Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program (GRYD) in Los Angeles.All too often, the devastating effects of violence are little recognized outside of those who are directly affected. By comparing on a county-by-county level the homicide rates for youth and young adults in California, it is our goal to add a new, ongoing context for information to be presented while helping support discussion, analysis, policy development, and action. Above all, this work is conducted in the belief that information aids in the development of sound prevention strategies -- on the local, state, and national levels.

Statistics & Surveys

Model Laws for a Safer America: Seven Regulations to Promote Responsible Gun Ownership and Sales

September 1, 2011

Legal Community Against Violence (LCAV) has published this report to assist elected officials and activists seeking to address our nation's deadly epidemic of gun violence. As discussed in the paper, although guns kill or injure more than 100,000 Americans every year, our federal gun laws are incredibly weak -- weaker than those of any other industrialized nation. This publication provides model laws for state or local governments seeking to fill these deadly gaps in our federal regulatory system.

Policy Recommendations & Models

Drive-By America: Second Edition

July 1, 2010

Drive-by shootings are commonly defined as an incident in which the shooterfires a firearm from a motor vehicle at another person, vehicle, building, or another stationary object.This study is a follow-up to the July 2007 Violence Policy Center (VPC) report Drive-By America, which, using a limited sample of information, offered for the first time a nationwide overview of drive-by shootings.Three years after the publication of the original VPC study, there remains no national data on the prevalence of drive-by shootings, those who commit them, those who are killed and injured as a result of them, the firearms used, where they takeplace, or at what times they most often occur.The goal of this new edition of Drive-By America is to continue the VPC'sefforts to fill the information gap surrounding drive-by shootings while illustrating the need for improved data collection regarding this specific category of firearms violence.

Statistics & Surveys

Regulating Guns in America -- An Evaluation and Comparative Analysis of Federal, State and Selected Local Gun Laws

August 1, 2006

Regulating Guns in America is designed for use by state and local officials, law enforcement, and gun violence prevention advocates. It provides a comprehensive, national review of existing federal and state laws on more than twenty topics covering all major areas of gun policy. It also includes a discussion of local laws in ten major U.S. cities. In addition to identifying existing laws in each jurisdiction, the report compares and contrasts different policy approaches used to address each topic, and offers a list of features that characterize the most comprehensive legislative solution in each area.

Policy Recommendations & Models