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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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Alcohol Misuse and Gun Violence: An Evidence-Based Approach for State Policy

May 17, 2023

This report summarizes the connection between alcohol and firearm use, reviews existing state laws, and makes a core set of recommendations for addressing the problem at the state level:Limiting access to firearms by persons with a record of alcohol misuseLimiting access to guns when and where alcohol is consumedIf these policy recommendations are to be effective, it is also important to address the environment where alcohol is sold and consumed. We therefore consider additional policies known to be effective in reducing excessive alcohol consumption and its related harms. In the last section, the report reviews key legal considerations that can help policymakers successfully implement the policies recommended in the report.

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. 

Extreme Risk Protection Orders: New Recommendations for Policy and Implementation

October 1, 2020

In 2013, the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy (Consortium) developed andrecommended that states enact a novel risk-based firearm removal policy called the gunviolence restraining order, now widely known as the extreme risk protection order or byits acronym, ERPO (or extreme risk law or red flag law). ERPO laws allow law enforcement officials, and in some states family and household members, among others, to petition a court for a civil order to temporarily remove firearms from, and prevent the purchase of additional firearms by, individuals who are at risk of harming themselves and/or others. This groundbreaking policy was inspired by precursor policies in Connecticut and Indiana, modeled on domestic violence protection orders found nationwide, and grounded in research regarding evidence-based risk factors for both interpersonal and self-directed violence.As states enact and implement ERPO laws, there has been predictable variation in howthe laws are written and implemented, reflecting states' diverse needs, priorities, andbarriers to implementation. These differences, however, have raised questions aboutbest practices, and stakeholders have turned to the Consortium for specific guidance. Inresponse, the Consortium undertook a review of available research and legal scholarship, solicited expert guidance and stakeholder perspectives, and discussed these findings during an in-person meeting in January 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. This report provides new consensus recommendations to address contemporary issues in ERPO policy and implementation.

Risk-Based Firearm Policy Recommendations for Texas

September 2, 2016

Firearm violence takes a tragic toll on society. Recent data shows there are more than 81,000 nonfatal firearm injuries and 33,000 deaths —nearly two-thirds of which are suicides —peryearin the United States. Effective solutions to reduce gun violence demand a comprehensive, evidence-based strategy. The Consortium for Risk-Based FirearmPolicy (Consortium), a group of the nation's leading experts in public health, mental health, and gun violence prevention, came together in March 2013 to address this complex issue. These esteemed researchers, practitioners, and advocates developed evidence-based gun violence prevention policy recommendations to reduce access to firearms by people who are at an increased risk of dangerous behavior. This analysis from the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) examines how Texaslawcompares to the Consortium's recommendations and outlines stepsTexasshould take immediately to prohibit individuals at increased risk of dangerous behavior from accessing firearms. The evidence supporting these recommendations is presented in the full ConsortiumReport: Guns, Public Health, and Mental Illness: An Evidence-Based Approach for State Policy.

Firearm Removal/Retrieval in Cases of Domestic Violence

February 29, 2016

The purpose of this report is to recommend risk-based firearm policies and practices to diminish gun violence perpetrated by domestic abusers. Guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination. When an abusive partner has access to a firearm, the risk the other partner (usually a woman) will be killed increases more than five-fold. Often before these tragedies occur, law enforcement has already been involved: One study found that approximately half of women killed by their intimate partner had contact with the criminal justice system, related to the abuse, within the year prior to being murdered. Those contacts provide critical windows of opportunity that can prevent an eventual death. Restricting abusers'access to firearms is an effective policy, reducing domestic violence homicides by as much as 25%. Studies show that "would-be killers do not replace guns with other weapons to effect the same number of killings." While federal law prohibits purchase and possession of firearms by persons subject to domestic violence protective orders, it does not prohibit purchase or possession of firearms by those subject to temporary domestic violence restraining orders. Those temporary orders are often the first step in the domestic violence protective order process, reflecting the immediate danger the victim faces. Many states have closed this gap by prohibiting individuals who are subject to temporary domestic violence protective orders from purchasing or possessing firearms. Federal law should be changed to prohibit purchase and possession of firearms by persons subject to temporary domestic violence protective orders as well, to ensure that victims are provided safety throughout the entire process. In addition to making this overarching recommendation, this report reviews the processes that jurisdictions across the nation have in place to ensure that individuals subject to protectiveorders for domestic abuse actually abide by the firearm restrictions. We also analyze logistical, monetary, and political considerations, obstacles to implementation, and data needs at each step of the process. Further, this report provides examples of current promising practices for the removal/retrieval of firearms from these individuals. For purposes of this analysis, we break down the removal processinto six components: authority to remove/retrieve, identifying respondents with firearms, notifying prohibited possessors, removal/retrieval of the firearm(s), storage or sale of firearms, and return of firearms.

Guns, Public Health and Mental Illness: An Evidence-Based Approach for Federal Policy

December 11, 2013

Importantly, the research evidence points to several key factors that are associated with risk of committing firearm violence - toward self and others - in people both with and without mental illness, including history of violent crime, perpettration of domestic violence, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse. Current federal policies do not adequately reduce access to firearms by individuals who meet these evidence-based criteria for risk of violence. The policy recommendations proposed in this report are based on the best available research evidence, and hold promise for preventing gun violence by persons at high risk of committing gun violence - including suicide. While some updates to federal firearm disqualification criteria related to mental health are needed, the Consortium has concluded that rather than focusing on mental health as a single factor in isolation, future gun violence prevention policy efforts should use evidence-based cirtieria shown to increase the risk of violence - including suicide- to disqualify individuals meeting those criteria from purchasing or possessing firearms. The Consortium supports two distinct paths for intervention at the federal level. The first concerns needed updates to the existing federal mental health firearm disqualification policy. The second path expands federal firearm prohibitions to include people who meet specific, evidence-based criteria that elevate their risk for committing violence. With this dual approach, we offer policy makers a way forward that is informed by the best available evidence, meaningful for the victims and their families affected by gun violence, and respectful of individuals with mental illness and their care providers.

Policy Recommendations & Models

Guns, Public Health and Mental Illness: An Evidence-Based Approach for State Policy

December 2, 2013

The Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy (Consortium) includes the nation's leading researchers, practitioners, and advocatesx in gun violence prevention and mental health. In March of 2013, members of the Consortium met for a two-day conference to discuss research evidence and identify areas of consensus., This initial meeting resulted in a commitment to advance evidence-based gun violence prevention policy recommendations through the newly formed consortium.

Policy Recommendations & Models