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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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Educational Costs of Gun Violence: Implications for Washington, DC

July 8, 2022

Research indicates that gun violence and violent crime can negatively affect educational outcomes including test scores, graduation rates, and academic engagement. In this brief, we summarize research on this topic, situate this evidence in the context of the geography of gun violence and educational outcomes in DC, and describe implications for DC communities.

Nine Strategies to Guide Efforts to Reduce Youth Gun Violence

April 22, 2022

Gun violence, including that perpetrated by young people, is a pernicious problem for many communities, particularly those facing historically high levels of concentrated disadvantage and disinvestment. To effectively address youth gun violence and establish and maintain peace, communities need stable safety infrastructures and effective interventions.We developed a research-based practice guide to help local governments, law enforcement agencies, and antiviolence organizations determine how to shape their approaches to reducing gun violence perpetrated by young people ages 10 to 25 in gangs or groups. Here, we summarize the guide's recommendations on how to develop effective interventions and build a broader safety infrastructure that supports the success of different partners working to protect young people and communities from gun violence.

A Research-Based Practice Guide to Reduce Youth Gun and Gang/Group Violence

January 3, 2022

While extensive research exists, the field lacks a current and translational synthesis of what works to reduce youth group and gun violence. In response, the Urban Institute developed a research-based practice guide to inform local government, law enforcement, and community-violence-intervention stakeholders as they implement new antiviolence interventions and refine existing ones. To inform the development of the guide, Urban researchers conducted a comprehensive literature synthesis of research on violence reduction interventions and conducted a scan of interventions representing well-known antiviolence models and other innovative strategies. Drawing on the findings from the literature synthesis and scan of practice, the practice guide presents recommendations around nine practice areas related to building an infrastructure to support a multi-faceted antiviolence strategy and implementing effective violence reduction programs.

“We Carry Guns to Stay Safe”: Perspectives on Guns and Gun Violence from Young Adults Living in Chicago’s West and South Sides

October 4, 2018

Homicide is the leading cause of death for black boys and men ages 15 to 34 in Chicago, and the easy availability of guns is a contributing factor. To stem the tide of gun violence in Chicago, policymakers need more insight into why young adults carry guns and what might deter them from doing so. The Urban Institute, in partnership with community program providers,  surveyed young adults living in Chicago's West and South Side neighborhoods with high rates of gun violence. This survey's purpose was to learn firsthand whether and why young adults in these neighborhoods carry guns, how they acquire firearms, how they experience gun violence and policing, and what they think could reduce gun carrying and promote safety.

Put the Guns Down: Outcomes and Impacts of the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy

August 22, 2017

Across the United States, policymakers, practitioners, and communities are seeking ways to reduce the lethal violence highly concentrated in a relatively small number of urban neighborhoods. With funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC) collaborated with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and other city stakeholders to implement the Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy (VRS), beginning in 2009. Chicago VRS identifies and targets street groups disproportionately responsible for gun violence and works to deter additional violence using a three-pronged strategy: criminal justice sanctions, community moral suasion, and social services provision. The intervention includes call-in meetings in the targeted police districts, during which identified group members are put on notice by VRS partners—including top leadership from CPD, federal and state prosecutors, and credible community messengers—that although they are valued community members, gun violence must stop, and that street groups represented in the meeting that continue to be involved in shootings will be the target of coordinated enforcement actions. Researchers at the Urban Institute and Yale University, in partnership with NNSC, conducted a comprehensive, mixed-methods, quasi-experimental outcome and impact evaluation of Chicago VRS funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The evaluation began in November 2011, seeking to determine whether and how Chicago VRS affected group member–involved violence and how the intervention may have been related to perceptions of group members, community residents, and police officers.

Gun Violence Affects the Economic Health of Communities

June 1, 2017

Despite broad interest in estimating the economic costs of gun violence at the national and individual levels, we know little about how local economies respond to increased gun violence, especially sharp and sudden increases (or surges) in gun violence. This brief summarizes findings that surges in gun violence can significantly reduce the growth of new retail and service businesses and slow home value appreciation. Higher levels of neighborhood gun violence can be associated with fewer retail and service establishments and fewer new jobs. Higher levels of gun violence were also associated with lower home values, credit scores, and homeownership rates.

Statistics & Surveys

A Neighborhood-Level Analysis of the Economic Impact of Gun Violence

June 1, 2017

Despite broad interest in estimating the economic costs of gun violence at the national and individual levels, we know little about how local economies respond to increased gun violence, especially sharp and sudden increases (or surges) in gun violence. Our report found that surges in gun violence can significantly reduce the growth of new retail and service businesses and slow home value appreciation. Higher levels of neighborhood gun violence can be associated with fewer retail and service establishments and fewer new jobs. Higher levels of gun violence were also associated with lower home values, credit scores, and homeownership rates. Interviews with local stakeholders (homeowners, renters, business owners, non-profits, etc.) in six cities across the United States confirmed that the findings match their experience. Business owners in neighborhoods that experience heightened gun violence reported additional challenges and costs, and residents and business owners alike asserted that gun violence hurts housing prices and drives people to relocate from or avoid moving to affected neighborhoods. Some of the report's key findings include: Impact of Gun Violence Surges on Local Business Growth, Home Values, Homeownership Rates, and Credit Scores across Cities      Gun homicide surges in census tracts reduced the growth rate of new retail and service establishments by 4 percent in Minneapolis, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.Gun homicide surges in census tracts slowed home value appreciation by 3.9 percent in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.Gunshot surges in census tracts slowed home value appreciation by 3.6 percent in Oakland, Rochester, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.Neither gun homicide nor gunshot surges were observed to reduce homeownership rates or credit scores in these cities. Homeownership rates might not fall as quickly as home values in response to sudden surges in gun violence because selling a home and moving may take a long time or may simply not be feasible for some residents.Relationships between Gun Violence and Business Outcomes, Home Values, Homeownership Rates, and Credit Scores within Cities     In Minneapolis, each additional gun homicide in a census tract in a given year was associated with 80 fewer jobs the next year.In Oakland, each additional gun homicide in a census tract in a given year was associated with 5 fewer jobs in shrinking businesses the next year.In Washington, DC, every 10 additional gunshots in a census tract in a given year were associated with 20 fewer jobs among new establishments, one less new business opening, and one more business closing the same year.In San Francisco, there was no association between levels of gun violence in census tracts in a given year and business outcomes the next year.    Analysis of gun homicides in 2014 and home values, homeownership rates, and credit scores in 2015 demonstrated that each additional gun homicide in a census tract was associated with the following outcomes:        A $22,000 decrease in average home values in Minneapolis census tracts and a $24,621 decrease in Oakland census tracts.A 20-point decrease in average credit scores in Minneapolis census tracts and a 9-point decrease in Oakland census tracts.A 3 percent decrease in homeownership rates in Washington, DC, census tracts and a 1 percent decrease in Baton Rouge census tracts.There were no associations between gun homicides in a given year and home values, homeownership rates, and credit scores the next year in Minneapolis, Oakland, San Francisco, or Washington, DC, census tracts from 2009 to 2014 or in Baton Rouge census tracts from 2011 to 2014.

Statistics & Surveys

State Variation in the Hospital Costs of Gun Violence, 2010 and 2014

January 1, 2017

This brief updates the armed assault hospital cost estimates with data from 2014, the first year of full implementation of the ACA's major coverage provisions. We provide data for Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Wisconsin; of these, Arizona, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Wisconsin were included in our previous brief. We selected these six states based on data availability, population size, geographic representation, and participation in the ACA Medicaid expansion (table 1). The states reflect a range of decisions on Medicaid coverage: Arizona, Kentucky, and New Jersey adopted the Medicaid expansion in 2014, but Florida, North Carolina, and Wisconsin did not. Arizona had a Section 1115 demonstration waiver in place in 2010 that provided coverage to childless adults with incomes up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Wisconsin also had a Section 1115 demonstration waiver to extend eligibility to 200 percent of FPL, but enrollment for the program was capped as of October 2009. In 2014, Wisconsin used state funds to provide eligibility to childless adults with incomes up to 100 percent of FPL and removed the enrollment cap. Most importantly, all six states have complete data for the analysis from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, described later in this brief.

Statistics & Surveys

The Effect of Gun Violence on Local Economies

November 1, 2016

We already know that gun violence exacts enormous costs. The fear of gun violence, and people's perceived risk, has been shown to impose heavy social, psychological, and monetary burdens on individuals that translate into monetary costs to society. We also know the health care costs of treating gunshot injuries: just under $630 million i n 2010 (Howell and Abraham 2013). American society collectively pays all these costs. Yet we know comparatively little about the relationship between gun violence and the economic health of neighborhoods at the most grassroots levels ; we don't know how businesses, jobs, and many more indicators of economic health respond to increased levels of gun violence. Could gun violence cause economic downturns? In communities and neighborhoods most affected by gun violence, does the presence of gun violence hold back business growth?To answer these important research questions at the neighborhood level, we assemble d gun violence and establishment data at the census tract level in six US cities. This report presents the initial findings of an in - depth analysis of the relationship bet ween gun violence and local economic health in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Oakland, California; and Washington, DC . Our findings indicate a significant relationship between gun violence and the ability of businesses to open, operate, and grow in the affected communities. The data and research findings from this study can lend a new, economically driven lens to the debate on gun safety and gun control

Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map for Safer Communities

April 28, 2016

Groundbreaking research by Benenson Strategy Group (BSG) and Lester and Associates was released on April 28, 2016 alongside a policy roadmap that lays out a series of proposed policy solutions for gun violence based on conversations with community stakeholders in Richmond, VA, Milwaukee, WI, and Stockton, CA. The research and report grew out of a project launched last year by The Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies, The Urban Institute and The Joyce Foundation. The study found that African Americans and Latinos believe that fixing the gun violence crisis in the United States is a pathway to addressing issues with the criminal justice system, including police-community relationships and mass incarceration.

Policy Recommendations & Models

Engaging Communities in Reducing Gun Violence: A Road Map to Safer Communities

April 1, 2016

Gun violence inflicts a devastating toll on communities of color, but the justice system response to this violence frequently destabilizes neighborhoods and damages police-community relations. To develop a better response, the Urban Institute, Joyce Foundation, and Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies convened more than 100 people from communities affected by violence. We learned that violence prevention demands a holistic set of solutions. Limiting access to firearms is part of the solution, but a comprehensive strategy will also require improving police-community relations, investing in community services, and facilitating community leadership in violence prevention efforts.

The Hospital Costs of Firearm Assaults

September 12, 2013

In the wake of recent high profile incidents of gun violence, there is renewed national attention on the prevalence and cost of firearm assaults in the United States. To make informed policy decisions, lawmakers are calling for current and accurate data on the costs of these assaults. This brief examines the costs of emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admissions for firearm assault victims in the United States in 2010. These costs are further examined according to patient gender, age, median household income, and insurance status.

Statistics & Surveys