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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25 Years of Impactful Grant Making: Gun Violence Prevention Research Supported by the Joyce Foundation

August 15, 2019

This document reviews the Joyce Foundation's 25-year history of grant making to advance gun violence prevention research. Since 1993, the Joyce Foundation has provided support to researchers who have produced hundreds of scientific publications and innumerable insights about gun violence in the United States, and its solutions. This is necessarily an incomplete accounting, but provides an approximate measure of the unique impact of the Joyce Foundation's grant making during a critical time period when few other private or public funders supported the field.

Policy Recommendations & Models

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This study examines the problem of black homicide victimization at the state level by analyzing unpublished Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data for black homicide victimization submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).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.

Evidence Concerning the Regulation of Firearms Design, Sale, and Carrying on Fatal Mass Shootings in the United States

January 30, 2020

This report calculates state‐level annual incidence of fatal mass shootings from 1984–2017. The analysis suggests that laws requiring firearm purchasers to be licensed through a background check process supported by fingerprints and laws banning large‐capacity magazines are the most effective gun policies for reducing fatal mass shootings.

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 Impact of Handgun Purchaser Licensing Laws on Gun Violence

June 12, 2019

There is a major flaw in federal firearm laws in the U.S. and in most states' laws; prohibited purchasers can acquire firearms from unlicensed private sellers without subjecting themselves to background checks and record-keeping requirements. Violent criminals and traffickers exploit this weakness with fatal consequences. This report discusses the need to improve background checks and handgun purchaser licensing laws which would result in reduced gun deaths.

Gun Violence in the Great Lakes States

April 1, 2019

This report offers select data on lethal gun violence in states located in the Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) drawn from Violence Policy Center (VPC) publications issued in 2018 as well as additional research. Types of gun death detailed in this report are: overall gun death (suicides, homicides, and unintentional deaths); homicide; suicide; black homicide victimization; females killed by males; and, examples of non-self defense killings involving concealed handgun permit holders (for the years 2016, 2017, and 2018)

Policies to Reduce Gun Violence in Illinois: Research, Policy Analysis, and Recommendations

February 1, 2019

Compared to many other states, Illinois has relatively strong firearm laws. Nonetheless, there are several ways in which Illinois could further strengthen its laws to reduce the diversion of guns for criminal use and gun violence. This report is comprised of three main section. First, it provides an overview of current law in Illinois related to standards and processes for obtaining a Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) license, background checks, drug and alcohol related prohibitions, domestic violence prohibitions, extreme risk protection orders, and concealed carry of firearms. Second, we review existing evidence on the effectiveness of firearm-related laws including the impacts of purchaser licensing to reduce diversion and homicide, domestic violence restraining orders and intimate partner violence, discretion in issuing concealed carry licenses, extending prohibitions to individuals with multiple alcohol-related convictions, and local community-based interventions to reduce gun violence. Third, we conclude the report by offering ten evidence-based recommendations to reduce gun violence in Illinois.

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data

April 1, 2018

The devastation homicide inflicts on black teens and adults is a national crisis, yet it is all too often ignored outside of affected communities. 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 2015 and is the most recent data available. This is the first analysis of the 2015 data on black homicide victims to offer breakdowns of cases inthe 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. While this study utilizes the best and most recent data available, it is limited by the quantity and degree of detail in the information submitted.

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data

September 1, 2017

Intimate partner violence against women is all too common and takes many forms. The most serious is homicide by an intimate partner. Guns can easily turn domestic violence into domestic homicide. One federal study on homicide among intimate partners found that female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined, concluding that "the figures demonstrate the importance of reducing access to firearms in households affected by IPV [intimate partner violence]." Guns are also often used in non-fatal domestic violence. A study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers analyzed gun use at home and concluded that "hostile gun displays against family members may be more common than gun use in self-defense, and that hostile gun displays are often acts of domestic violence directed against women." 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.A woman must consider the risks of having a gun in her home, whether she is in a domestic violence situation or not. While two thirds of women who own guns acquired them "primarily for protection against crime," the results of a California analysis show that "purchasing a handgun provides no protection against homicide among women and is associated with an increase in their risk for intimate partner homicide." A 2003 study about the risks of firearms in the home found that females living with a gun in the home were nearly three times more likely to be murdered than females with no gun in the home. Finally, another study reports, women who were murdered were more likely, not less likely, to have purchased a handgun in the three years prior to their deaths, again invalidating the idea that a handgun has a protective effect against homicide.While this study does not focus solely on domestic violence homicide or guns, it provides a starkreminder 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 "Crime Gun Intelligence Center" Model: Case Studies of the Denver, Milwaukee and Chicago Approaches to Investigating Gun Crime

May 1, 2017

One recent development in the battle against gun violence has shown promise, however. That involves the use of technology to streamline and support police enforcement and investigatory efforts against criminals who carry guns. This report examines one of these promising technology-based applications: the Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC) model. CGICs are an interagency collaboration among local police departments, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and other partners such as state and local prosecutors, to identify perpetrators of gun crime for immediate investigation, apprehension, and prosecution. CGICs combine state-of-the-art analytical technology, data processing systems, and good old-fashioned detective work to help police agencies more quickly analyze ballistic evidence, establish connections among seemingly unrelated crimes, and build criminal cases targeting both gun traffickers and trigger-pullers.

Whose Guns are Stolen? The Epidemiology of Gun Theft Victims

April 10, 2017

This study is the first to explore the association between gun-related characteristics and gun theft victimization. The study shows that owning many guns, owning guns for protection, carrying guns, and storing guns unsafely are associated with having guns stolen. Storing guns in the car also appears to increase the risk. Owning many guns appears to be a risk factor for gun theft, perhaps because burglars see firearms as loot.

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2014 Homicide Data

September 1, 2016

Intimate partner violence against women is all too common and takes many forms. The most serious is homicide by an intimate partner. Guns can easily turn domestic violence into domestic homicide. One federal study on homicide among intimate partners found that female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined, concluding that "the figures demonstrate the importance of reducing access to firearms in households affected by IPV [intimate partner violence]." Guns are also often used in non-fatal domestic violence. A study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers analyzed gun use at home and concluded that "hostile gun displays against family members may be more common than gun use in self-defense, and that hostile gun displays are often acts of domestic violence directed against women." 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. A woman must consider the risks of having a gun in her home, whether she is in a domestic violence situation or not. While two-thirds of women who own guns acquired them "primarily for protection against crime," the results of a California analysis show that "purchasing a handgun provides no protection against homicide among women and is associated with an increase in their risk for intimate partner homicide." A 2003 study about the risks of firearms in the home found that females living with a gun in the home were nearly three times more likely to be murdered than females with no gun in the home. Finally, another study reports, women who were murdered were more likely, not less likely, to have purchased a handgun in the three years prior to their deaths, again invalidating the idea that a handgun has a protective effect against homicide. While this study does not focus solely on domestic violence homicide or guns, it 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.