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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Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2019 Homicide Data

July 13, 2022

This annual study examines black homicide victimization at the state level utilizing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The study ranks the states by their rates of black homicide victimization and offers additional information for the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates.

Racial Equity Framework for Gun Violence Prevention

February 16, 2022

This report urges us to think carefully about the relationship between gun violence prevention and racial equity. Racial equity impact assessments (REIAs), such as the assessment proposed in this report, guide advocates, policy makers, and researchers through a thorough examination of policies with an equity lens to anticipate the potential outcomes and mitigate foreseeable risks. It requires one to ask fundamental questions about when to justify involvement with the criminal legal system, identify the costs and benefits of engagement, and think about alternatives to minimize harm. This framework acknowledges that solutions to gun violence, however well intentioned they may be, can exacerbate or compound upon the harms suffered by impacted communities if they are made without careful analysis and the input of those directly affected by it.Gun violence affects everyone. It inflicts an enormous burden upon our country, particularly within under-resourced Black and Latino/Hispanic communities. The politics of guns and race have long been intertwined, but racial equity only recently became a focal point of discussions among gun violence prevention groups, catalyzed by the advocacy of community-based and BIPOC-led organizations.In partnership with many stakeholders across the gun violence prevention movement, this racial equity framework is a resource that can be used by policymakers, researchers, and organizations working in gun violence prevention. Representatives from the six authoring organizations comprised a small working group to plan development of the report and convened a series of conversations to share proposals and review feedback from expert contributors. In addition to advancing racial equity, the core values of inclusion, collaboration, and consensus-building guided the project from early stages through completion.Building upon existing racial equity work and guidance, this report is informed by the public health model of social determinants of health and has been tailored to the specific needs of gun violence prevention. The tools and recommendations proposed in this report are derived from relevant academic literature, racial equity impact assessments, and frameworks for building more equitable social movements.The racial equity framework for gun violence prevention is divided into three main sections: The first section introduces the most relevant considerations about gun policy and race. It helps contextualize the issue of racial disparities in gun violence and the role of the criminal legal system. The second section is the racial equity impact assessment tool (REIA) for gun violence prevention policy. It includes the analysis of the foundational assessments that were considered to develop the tool and a practical explanation of each of the questions that comprise the REIA. The third section provides resources to build a more equitable gun violence prevention movement. It describes the need to center and invest in BIPOC-led organizations and presents a set of recommendations for developing and sustaining a more equitable gun violence prevention movement. 

Child Access Prevention Laws and Firearm Storage: Results From a National Survey

February 1, 2022

IntroductionChild Access Prevention Negligent Storage (CAP-NS) laws seek to reduce pediatric firearm injury by imposing sanctions on gun owners if children gain access to unlocked guns. Whether these laws affect the storage behavior they aim to encourage is not known because historical panel data on firearm storage do not exist. As a result, assessing how much, if at all, firearm storage changed because of CAP-NS laws requires an indirect approach.MethodsData for this study came from a web-based survey conducted by the research firm Ipsos from July 30, 2019 to August 11, 2019. Respondents were adult gun owners drawn from an online sampling frame comprising approximately 55,000 U.S. adults recruited using address-based sampling methods to be representative of the U.S. population. The primary outcome was the proportion of gun owners in CAP-NS versus non-CAP-NS states who had ≥1 unlocked firearm. Estimates are presented by CAP-NS status, for gun owners overall and for those who live with children, before and after adjusting for potential confounders. Data were analyzed in 2021.ResultsIn adjusted analyses, gun owners in CAP-NS states were no more likely to lock firearms than were those in states without these laws. In addition, most gun owners reported not knowing whether they lived in a state with a CAP-NS law.ConclusionsCAP-NS laws have at best modest effects on firearm storage. If the storage effect is as small as this study indicates, the mortality benefits previously attributed to CAP-NS laws are overstated. As such, developing interventions that effectively reduce firearm mortality by reducing access to firearms remains an urgent clinical and public policy priority.

Defending Democracy: Addressing the Dangers of Armed Insurrection

January 3, 2022

The growing presence of firearms in political spaces endangers public health, safety, and the functioning of democracy. Far from being an outlier, the January 6th insurrection at the United States Capitol was part of a long line of events in which individuals have sought to use political losses to justify violence or threats of violence to disrupt our government and limit civic engagement. These attacks on our nation and democratic institutions are preventable, but not without purposeful action.This report is both an examination and a warning of the threat that armed insurrectionism poses to democracy in the United States. It also counters the reckless and false narrative that the Constitution creates rights to insurrection and the unchecked public carry of any firearm, and rejects the notion that violence has any place in our nation's politics. The report concludes with recommended policy approaches that policymakers and advocates can use to address the dangers posed by armed insurrectionism. 

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2019 Homicide Data

September 29, 2021

When Men Murder Women is an annual study released by the VPC for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. State by state, the study details the circumstances of all reported homicides of women by men in single-victim/single-offender incidents. The study also ranks the states based on their rate of females killed by males. This research is used by state and local advocates to educate the public and policymakers on the realities of domestic violence and promote effective solutions to protect women and children from abusers.

How the Firearms Industry Markets Guns to Asian Americans

September 16, 2021

Exploiting the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the gun industry is targeting the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as potential new gun buyers and future pro-gun advocates.The firearms industry and gun lobby are currently targeting minority communities in their marketing in response to long-term stagnation in the traditional gun market of white men. Until recently, this campaign focused primarily on Black and Latino Americans, but the gun industry is now ramping up its efforts targeting Asian Americans.Asian Americans have low gun ownership rates, strongly support stricter gun laws, and are the fastest growing voter group in the United States. As a result of their increasing size and consumer power, Asian Americans are viewed as an untapped market by gunmakers. And in the eyes of the firearms industry and gun lobby, the purchase of a firearm is the first step down the path for new gun owners to become future pro-gun advocates and voters.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2018 Homicide Data

May 18, 2021

The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and young adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities. To educate the public and policymakers about the reality of black homicide victimization, each year the VPC releases Black Homicide Victimization in the United States, which details state by state the circumstances of all reported homicides with black victims.Our research shows the black homicide victimization rate is four times the national homicide victimization rate, and more than six times the homicide victimization rate for whites. More than 85 percent of black homicide victims are shot and killed with guns. These facts are both appalling and unacceptable. An important part of ending the gun violence epidemic is to reduce homicides in the African-American community.

Misfire: The Gun Industry's Lack of Accountability for Defective Firearms

March 30, 2021

This study details the prevalence of defective guns sold in the United States and describes the failure of government oversight in addressing this longstanding public safety issue. Warning that there are millions of defective guns in America, the study details the real-world impact of the little-known fact that the gun industry is the only manufacturer of a consumer product that is entirely exempt from federal health and safety regulation.

More Than Just a Piece of Paper: A Toolkit for Advocates

January 25, 2021

Over the past ten months, BWJP/NRCDVF has researched public attitudes toward firearm-involved intimate partner violence, as well as attitudinal impediments to disarming domestic violence offenders, with support from The Joyce Foundation. The culmination of these efforts is this resource: More Than Just a Piece of Paper: A Toolkit for Advocates on Firearms and Domestic Violence During COVID-19. This toolkit provides advocates with tools for engaging conversations (both locally and on the state level) on the impact of firearms on domestic violence victim-survivors, particularly during periods of wide-spread crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the Firearms Industry and NRA Market Guns to Communities of Color

January 25, 2021

The 39-page report, How the Firearms Industry and NRA Market Guns to Communities of Color, documents efforts begun in 2015 that have only intensified over time. The VPC report reveals the scope of this marketing effort as evidenced by: gun industry marketing studies and related materials from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF, the trade association for the firearms industry); articles in gun industry publications, advertisements, videos, and social media; and, NRA articles, online programming, and related materials

Policing Guns and Gun Violence: A Toolkit for Practitioners and Advocates

December 21, 2020

The NNSC, with support from the Joyce Foundation, led a project to develop the exercise of police-led discretion towards incidents involving violence, guns, and high-risk people. In recent years, police departments have expanded the formal use of discretion in attempts to minimize criminal justice contact for first-time, nonviolent offenses, particularly those involving substance abuse, mental health, or youth. Police also exercise discretion in more informal, ad hoc ways with regard to incidents or potential incidents of violence, but that practice is far less common and studied. The NNSC brought together scholars, law enforcement officials, and civil society leaders to outline the space for discretion and unearth lessons and insights from the existing use of discretion in responding to violence and gun crime. The project allowed us to build towards new applications and practices of discretion that minimize harmful criminal justice involvement while advancing public safety and create two resources for the field: a white paper and a toolkit for practitioners and advocates.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data

June 1, 2020

This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The information used for this report is for the year 2017. This is the first analysis of the 2017 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases in the 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates and the first to rank the states by the rate of black homicide victims.It is important to note that the SHR data used in this report comes from law enforcement reporting at the local level. While there are coding guidelines followed by the law enforcement agencies, the amount of information submitted to the SHR system, and the interpretation that results in the information submitted (for example, gang involvement) will vary from agency to agency. This study is limited by the quantity and degree of detail in the information submitted.