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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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Guns and Voting: How to Protect Elections after Bruen

September 18, 2023

With more guns and more political polarization and violence, states need strong laws to limit risk. In Bruen, the Supreme Court recognized that prohibitions on guns in "sensitive places" — and specifically in "polling places" — were "presumptively lawful." Yet today only 12 states and Washington, DC, prohibit both open and concealed carry of firearms at poll sites. Ironically, the states with the strongest gun regulations — which had restricted the ability to carry guns in public generally, rather than prohibiting guns in particular locations — were made most vulnerable in the wake of Bruen. In fact, only one of the six states that had their laws struck down by the decision specifically prohibited guns in polling places at the time of the decision.Now these states that once had strong general gun laws must scramble to enact new protections for elections. Although some states have banned guns at polling placessince Bruen, there is far more work to do.This report evaluates the new risks that gun violence poses for U.S. elections and proposes policy solutions to limit those risks. Solutions include prohibitions on firearms wherever voting or election administration occurs — at or near polling places, ballot drop boxes, election offices, and ballot counting facilities. In addition, states need stronger laws preventing intimidation of voters, election officials, election workers, and anyone else facilitating voting, with express recognition of the role that guns play in intimidation.Brennan Center for Justice: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence: 

The Devastating Toll of Gun Violence on American Women and Girls

September 13, 2023

In many ways, men have historically been the focus of conversations about guns and gun violence in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of gun owners are male. Eighty-six percent of gun deaths in the US involve men, and men are six times more likely to die from gun violence than women.However, gun violence also takes a grueling and devastating toll on women, with women of color experiencing a particularly disproportionate impact. Each year, more than 6,000 women die from gun violence. More than half of these deaths are gun suicides, and women are also heavily impacted by the deadly intersection of guns and domestic violence, which claims hundreds of lives each year. Thousands more women are left in the wake of gun violence's trauma, forced to grieve and recover from the loss of the many sons, husbands, brothers, and fathers who die as a result of gun violence. The toll of gun violence on women in the US is particularly stark when compared to peer nations: compared to women in other high-income countries, US women are 21 times more likely to die from gun violence.It is clear that gun violence is an issue with deep, multi-faceted impacts on women's safety, health, and well-being. Understanding this burden is essential to creating and implementing responsive solutions that will protect women, their families, and their communities.

The Disarm Hate Act Would Help Prevent Hate-Motivated Gun Violence

September 13, 2023

Weak gun laws at the federal level and in states such as Florida enable people radicalized by identity-based hate to commit deadly acts of violence against vulnerable communities. Every day, more than 28 hate crimes are committed with a gun, and with the number of hate crimes that law enforcement reports to the FBI at an all-time high, it is more urgent than ever for Congress to pass legislation that bars individuals with a history of committing hate crimes from accessing firearms.On September 13, 2023, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Maxwell Frost (D-FL) reintroduced the Disarm Hate Act. This legislation would help prevent acts of hate-motivated gun violence by prohibiting individuals convicted of violent-misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms.

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.

Invest in Governance and Management to Make Violence Reduction Efforts Successful

August 22, 2023

Violence reduction in the US is benefitting from excellent research (and ongoing research agendas) into specific interventions that can be evaluated and replicated. However, more is needed. The fact that so many cities continue to struggle with serious violence despite record investments in new programs indicates that the field needs a broader approach.There is a crucial gap holding back the field of violence reduction: an understanding of not just what programs or strategies to adopt, but how to manage and govern on the city level to reduce serious violence. This was the primary conclusion of a 2022 expert convening. Running a rigorous violence intervention program in a particular community is very challenging. Assembling, implementing, and sustaining an effective city-level strategy is an even more complex and difficult task. The challenge of developing successful citywide strategies is enormously important, often ignored, and a large part of why cities are failing to sustainably reduce violence. This document describes the group's conclusions and exploration of the current gap in research, implementation, governance, and ongoing management that challenges the violence reduction field, including suggestions of three areas where investment and effort could make a near-term impact.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, 1 Year Later

August 10, 2023

Less than two weeks after the racially motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, in May 2022, the third-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history claimed the lives of 21 people in Uvalde, Texas, including 19 children. Following decades of inaction, these horrific events spurred action in Congress. Responding to calls from victims' families and gun violence prevention activists, President Joe Biden and Democratic senators, including Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and Republican senators such as Texas Sen. John Cornyn and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis reached across the aisle to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA)—the most significant gun violence reduction legislation in 30 years.The BSCA demonstrates that it is possible for Congress to come together and pass legislation to curb gun violence. It is an important first step to addressing gun violence as the nation witnesses its devastating toll in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Now, however, progress must breed progress. By passing the BSCA, Congress laid the foundation for what must be a relentless campaign to combat America's gun violence epidemic with robust measures, including reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons, requiring a permit to purchase a firearm, instituting safe storage requirements, and making targeted efforts to address the epidemic's root causes. In order to build upon the success of the BSCA and effectively make the case for additional federal legislation, policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels must ensure that the BSCA's policies are properly implemented and that its billions of dollars in investments are successfully leveraged to reduce violence in U.S. communities.

Inside the Gun Shop: Firearms Dealers and their Impact

July 6, 2023

Illegal guns don't start out that way. Most firearms are produced by a licensed manufacturer and shipped to a licensed dealer. Nevertheless, some very quickly end up trafficked, used in crime, or in the hands of individuals prohibited from possessing a firearm. That means dealers play an important role in stopping the flow of guns from legal to illegal markets. Understanding who is licensed to manufacture and sell guns is vital to ensuring licensed gun dealers play their part in building safe communities.In 2022, there were nearly 78,000 licensed gun dealers in the United States—more than all McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, and Wendy's locations combined, and twice the number of US post offices. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the federal agency charged with regulating licensed dealers and inspecting them for compliance with federal law. Though limited, the data that the ATF makes available about these dealers offers important insights. This report spells out the basic facts about licensed dealers and the relationship between these dealers and gun crimes. It concludes with a set of key legislative measures that, if enacted, would make vital contributions to improving public safety and reducing the supply of illegal guns.

Gun Violence Widely Viewed as a Major – and Growing – National Problem

June 28, 2023

With total gun-related deaths reaching new highs in recent years, growing shares of Americans view both gun violence and violent crime as very big national problems.Looking ahead, twice as many Americans expect the level of gun violence to increase rather than stay about the same over the next five years (62% vs. 31%). Just 7% say it will decrease.

8 Ways To Reduce Gun Violence in Minnesota

June 6, 2023

More recently, the Minnesota House and Senate, with the support of Gov. Tim Walz (D) and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan (D), took decisive action by 1) expanding background checks to include all firearm sales; and 2) passing an ERPO law that allows law enforcement and family members to petition a court for an order to temporarily remove firearms from an individual in crisis. Other notable efforts from Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan include distributing more than 40,000 free gun locks in 2022 as part of the "Make Minnesota Safe & Secure" initiative; launching a violent death data dashboard in 2023 through the Minnesota Department of Health to educate and inform stakeholders on trends in suicide, homicide, unintentional firearm deaths, law enforcement interventions, and other undetermined violent deaths in Minnesota; and proposing a $300 million investment plan for public safety funding in cities, counties, and Tribal governments across the state as part of the newly revised "One Minnesota" initiative.Gov. Walz and the gun safety majority in the Minnesota Legislature should be applauded for championing these commonsense solutions supported by a majority of voters. Policymakers must build on this momentum in the next legislative session by passing additional measures to protect the lives of all Minnesotans. To improve public safety further, Minnesota should consider the eight actions discussed in this report, as they would help keep all its communities safe from gun violence.

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.

Promising Approaches for Implementing Extreme Risk Laws: A Guide for Practitioners and Policymakers

May 30, 2023

Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws create an opportunity to intervene and prevent firearm violence when there are warning signs that an individual poses a risk of harm to self or others. While ERPO laws are relatively new, a growing body of research demonstrates the potential for these laws to prevent firearm violence, particularly firearm suicide, and multiple victim/mass shootings. Interest in ERPO laws has increased in recent years, with 16 states having enacted these laws between 2018 and 2023. Implementation varies widely across and within states. As a result of strong ERPO implementation efforts in some jurisdictions, more information is now available for state and local leaders about how to implement and adapt ERPO laws for their own communities. In addition, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022 included $750 million in new federal grant funding for states, some of which is designated to support ERPO implementation.To meet this moment, the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions have partnered to compile this guide of the best available practices and promising approaches to effective implementation of extreme risk laws. These recommendations are informed by conversations with individuals who are pioneering ERPO implementation, in addition to the best practices shared at a December 2022 convening of ERPO leaders from around the country.

Curbing the Illicit Market: Enhancing Firearm Regulations to Reduce Gun Violence

May 24, 2023

Almost all of the firearms that end up on the streets are first sold through legally appointed federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) following manufacture or import. Given the unique ease of access to firearms in the US, there is a growing sense of urgency to better understand how crime guns are acquired and from where they originate to support much stronger supply-side efforts to address gun violence. Prior research has focused extensively on the large "secondary market" for firearms, where guns are transferred between unlicensed persons or to those legally prohibited from buying a firearm. In contrast, the focus of this policy brief is on the "primary market," which includes the legal retail sale of firearms from federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) to private consumers.