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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Improving Community Safety Through Public Health Strategies: Lessons From Atlanta and Milwaukee

July 20, 2021

This report offers early lessons and recommendations from work the Annie E. Casey Foundation is supporting in Atlanta and Milwaukee to prevent gun violence. These communities are part of a national movement to increase safety and heal trauma by examining root causes and addressing these issues from a public health and racial justice perspective. Residents in both cities are shaping and leading safety strategies with the support of local nonprofits and other public and private partners. Their stories highlight the many ways that philanthropic and system leaders can help catalyze alternative public safety models and support their development and implementation — including helping to establish a new narrative about what it takes to keep communities safe and building and sharing evidence on effective public health interventions.As the work featured in this report shows, both public and private entities have roles to play in supporting a public health approach to safety. Residents in Atlanta, with funding and support from Casey and other investors, established a neighborhood-based advisory group and began implementing the Cure Violence model. In Milwaukee, another place where the Foundation is supporting Cure Violence, the movement to reimagine public safety is being driven by the city's Office of Violence Prevention. Each community developed strategies and programs based on local goals, needs and circumstances. One common thread underpinning their efforts has been the purposeful engagement and inclusion of people living in the areas directly affected by violence.

Mass Violence in America: Causes, Impacts, and Solutions

August 1, 2019

The US has a problem with mass violence.  The rate at which mass shootings occur and the number of victims is increasing.This paper examines existing data and expertise on mass violence, provides an analysis about its causes and impacts and makes recommendations to inform policy and practice for a wide range of stakeholders.

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.

The Science of Gun Policy: A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States

March 2, 2018

The RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative is a unique attempt to systematically and transparently assess available scientific evidence on the real effects of gun laws and policies. Our goal is to create resources where policymakers and the general public can access unbiased information that informs and enables the development of fair and effective policies. Good gun policies in the United States require consideration of many factors, including the law and constitutional rights, the interests of various stakeholder groups, and information about the likely effects of different policies on a range of outcomes. This report seeks to provide the third factor—objective information about what the scientific literature examining gun policies can tell us about the likely effects of those policies. This report synthesizes the available scientific evidence on the effects of various gun policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, the gun industry, participation in hunting and sport shooting, and other outcomes.1 It builds and expands on earlier comprehensive reviews of scientific evidence on gun policy conducted more than a decade ago by the National Research Council (NRC) (see NRC, 2004) and the Community Preventive Services Task Force (see Hahn et al., 2005).

U.S. Gun Policy in a Global Context

January 1, 2018

Some of the most compelling evidence for a causal connection between gun prevalence and suicide or homicide rates comes from the experiences of three countries—Australia, Switzerland, and Israel—where changes in law or policy may have led to marked shifts in gun ownership rates.

The Relationship Between Firearm Prevalence and Violent Crime

January 1, 2018

In the past 12 years, several new studies found that increases in the prevalence of gun ownership are associated with increases in violent crime. Whether this association is attributable to gun prevalence causing more violent crime is unclear. If people are more likely to acquire guns when crime rates are rising or high, then the same pattern of evidence would be expected. An important limitation of all studies in this area is the lack of direct measures of the prevalence of gun ownership.

Restricting Access to Firearms Among Individuals at Risk for or Convicted of Domestic Violence or Violent Crime

January 1, 2018

Many states have implemented laws designed to prevent domestic violence perpetrators from acquiring or retaining firearms. Evidence suggests that domestic violence–related prohibited-possessor policies may reduce homicide rates.

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.

The Relationship Between Firearm Availability and Suicide

October 24, 2017

Empirical research on the causal effects of firearm availability on the risk of suicide is consistent with the claim that firearms increase suicide risk, but this research cannot yet rule out some other explanations for observed associations between guns and suicide. There are, however, theoretical or logical arguments for believing firearms elevate suicide risk that are sufficiently compelling that individuals and policymakers might reasonably choose to assume that gun availability does increase the risk of suicide. 

Confronting the Inevitability Myth: How Data-driven Gun Policies Save Lives from Suicide

September 15, 2017

The evidence is clear: firearm access contributes greatly to suicide rates, with guns accounting for nearly half of all suicide deaths but just 5% of suicide attempts. As dispiriting as this statistic may be, beneath it lies hope—by taking steps to prevent suicidal people from accessing guns, the most lethal means of suicide, we can make a lifesaving difference. The solutions are already there. We just have to implement them. Confronting the Inevitability Myth represents the culmination of a yearlong project by the attorneys at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence to study and analyze suicide in America. We took a hard look at the numbers and the harrowing stories behind them, and identified the smart gun laws and intervention programs that are most effective at saving lives from suicide. And when you ensure that a person in mental crisis doesn't get their hands on a gun, you really are saving a life. As you'll learn in the coming pages, most people who attempt suicide with methods other than a firearm survive, and most survivors never attempt suicide again, going on to live long lives and contribute positively to society. In other words, the idea that suicide is inevitable is a myth, and a deadly one at that. We hope that this report will help dispel this myth, spark conversation, and motivate lawmakers and community leaders to adopt the strategies proven to prevent gun suicide.This report has detailed important steps our leaders should take today to dispel inevitability myth and save more lives. These data-driven best practices are just a start, but they chart a clear path to progress and prevention. The time to act on them is now.

Cost of Hospitalization for Firearm Injuries by Firearm Type, Intent, and Payer in the United States

July 19, 2017

The aim of this study was to estimate annual and per-hospitalization cost for firearm injuries by intent, weapon type, and payer source, controlling for patient and hospital characteristics. The data used in this study was from the National Inpatient Sample from 2003 through 2013. The healthcare industry will benefit from information about the annual direct medical costs associated with firearm injuries and the main contributors to these costs, as this information can be used to anticipate costs and to compare to a national benchmark. Information about patient characteristics, injury intent, type of weapon, and payer source will also be helpful, but these relationships have not been examined routinely in previous studies. These data will also be helpful to those planning intervention programs by bringing more attention to the economic burden of firearm injuries in the US.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders: An Opportunity to Save Lives in Washington

September 19, 2016

"Extreme Risk Protection Orders: An Opportunity to Save Lives in Washington" is a 2016 report from the Ed Fund that provides information and data regarding extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs), including how they work and why they are needed to save lives in Washington State.