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Firearm Purchase Behavior and Subsequent Adverse Events

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $922,109)

The purpose of this project is to develop and test a new large-scale approach to threat assessment that relies on objective data regarding firearm purchases. The primary goal is to understand the firearm purchasing patterns of known mass shooters and other violent criminals and build a risk prediction tool to help identify individuals who might be at extreme risk for committing such crimes in the future. Specifically, this project will determine (1) whether there are unusual pre-event firearm purchasing patterns among known mass shooters with a record of purchase in California (1985-2018), as compared to the general population of registered firearm purchasers in the State of California, and (2) whether perpetrators of homicide, robbery, or aggravated assault in California with a record of purchase (1985-2018) have distinct pre-event firearm purchasing patterns as compared to the general population of registered firearm purchasers in the State. Further, the research team will use machine learning methods to forecast who is at an elevated risk of involvement in a mass shooting or other serious firearm violence (homicide, robbery, or aggravated assault with a firearm) based on features generated from firearm transaction records, along with criminal history records, and other key individual and community characteristics available in the administrative data. The project will improve risk assessment and prediction of firearm violence to help prevent mass shootings and other firearms violence. Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2018