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Before researchers and policymakers could understand how best to address gun violence in America, they needed to understand the extent and nature of gun ownership, both legal and illegal. Extensive research was conducted in the early 1990s to determine who owns guns in America. The reports below provided essential information about gun ownership and the effectiveness of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) firearms tracing data and illicit gun trafficking. These data were instrumental in helping NIJ, national and local policymakers, researchers and law enforcement practitioners develop gun violence reduction strategies.
- Gun Acquisition and Possession in Selected Juvenile Samples, by J.F. Sheley and J.D. Wright, Research in Brief, December 1993, NCJ 145326.
- Guns in America: Results of a Comprehensive National Survey on Firearms Ownership and Use, Summary Report, by P.J. Cook and J. Ludwig, Washington, DC: Police Foundation, 1996, NCJ 171638. NIJ Research in Brief by same authors, 1997, NCJ 165476.
- Illegal Firearms: Access and Use by Arrestees, by S.H. Decker et al., Research in Brief, January 1997, NCJ 163496. Prior research preview of this study: Arrestees and Guns: Monitoring the Illegal Gun Market, September 1995, NCJ 184205.
- Firearms and Violence, by J.A. Roth, Research in Brief, September 1995, NCJ 145533.
- Weapon-Related Victimization in Selected Inner-City High School Samples, by J.F. Sheley et al., final report to NIJ, 1995, NCJ 151526.
- The Limitations of BATF Firearms Tracing Data for Policymaking and Homicide Research, in Proceedings of the Homicide Research Working Group Meetings, 1997 and 1998 (see Part II), National Institute of Justice, 1999, NCJ 175709.
Other surveys have been published by nongovernmental sources. Two important studies are:
- Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence, by L. Ludwig and P. Cook, eds., The Brookings Institution, 2003. Read an abstract of the entire book from the Brookings Institution abstract.
- Crime Gun Risk Factors: Buyer, Seller, Firearm, and Transaction Characteristics Associated with Gun Trafficking and Criminal Gun Use, final report to NIJ, by C.S. Koper, 2007, NCJ 221074.