On November 30 and December 1, 2011, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) convened a group of experts who became members of the new Firearms and Violence Research Working Group (the working group), which identified seven topical areas and sub-areas that would, if addressed, advance understanding of firearms violence and identify effective strategies that could reduce gun-related violent crime.
One topic identified by the working group was the maintenance of a focus on firearms and violence. In the 2010 NIJ review and assessment, research on firearms and violence was identified as one of the few topics that had received sustained, directed, and cumulative support. According to that report, the result was significant advances in understanding of that aspect of crime in the United States that accounts for the seriousness (i.e., lethality and degree of injury) of violent crime. A second topic identified by the work group was advancing basic knowledge on the acquisition of firearms used in crimes and defensive gun use. Largely due to NIJ-supported work, a comprehensive description of the role of firearms in crime has been developed. A third issue identified by the working group was criminal justice topical areas. "Hot spots" policing has been determined to be an effective intervention for gun violence. What is not known is why and how these interventions work. Other topics addressed by the working group were firearms violence prevention, the role of gun markets in increasing violence, improving data on guns, and comparative research topics. Papers and reports presented at the meeting were the National Research Council Report and paper that addressed criminal justice interventions, public health interventions, and emerging issues in methods and data collection relevant to firearm violence. The meeting agenda and participant list are provided.
Date Published: April 1, 2012
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