Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $39,992)
An increasing social awareness around the issue of firearm legislation and gun violence is brewing in America. Powerful groups on both sides of a contentious debate call for either more or less restrictive firearm legislation to combat firearm-related violence. Unfortunately, little research has demonstrated whether or how firearm legislation impacts violence across spatial context and time. This is largely due to a lack of data that allows for longitudinal analysis of a broad spectrum of firearm legislation on firearm violence over time and space. To understand whether and under what conditions firearm leg islation reduces firearm violence requires a new data effort, one that is unprecedented in scope. Our proposed research will produce a comprehensive dataset capturing the presence and type of state-level firearm legislation from 1970 to 2010, in U.S. states as well as county-level measures of firearm-related violence and other theoretically motived county-level characteristics. This will allow for a comprehensive examination of how state firearm legislation affects firearm violence at the county level (with counties nested within states) with potential attention to identification of county-level factors that moderate the relationship between state-level firearm legislation and county-level rates of firearm related violence. Our research will produce new data and knowledge that answers a timely demand for empirically driven policy recommendations addressing firearm violence.
Furthermore, our final data product will provide a comprehensive source of longitudinal data on firearms leg islation, firearms violence, and a variety of county characteristics that will facilitate further research by other investigators via archival with NACJD. ca/ncf