Criminal Justice News

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two National Institute of Justice-Funded Firearms Studies Released

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), has made the following reports available:
  • New Approaches to Understanding and Regulating Primary and Secondary Illegal Firearms (pdf, 177 pages). Modified abstract: This report confirms previous study results demonstrating the usefulness of trace data in policing illicit firearms. Jurisdictions with gun regulations appear to recover fewer illicitly distributed weapons compared to jurisdictions without regulations. The authors present conclusions suggesting more regulation will reduce the availability and distribution of illicit firearms.
  • Strategies for Disrupting Illegal Firearms Markets: A Case Study of Los Angeles (pdf, 92 pages) Modified Abstract: In 2001, RAND initiated a research and program development effort to understand the nature of illegal gun markets operating in Los Angeles. The primary goal of this project was to determine whether a data-driven, problem-solving approach could yield new interventions aimed at disrupting the workings of local, illegal gun markets serving criminals, gang members and juveniles. The authors created a new software tool to help law enforcement analyze patterns in crime-gun data, and identify and trace illicit pathways by which criminals acquire guns. The findings were incorporated into an interagency working group process that developed a community-based intervention designed to disrupt the illegal flow of guns to Los Angeles-area criminals; this intervention may had an impact on straw purchasing. The authors also assessed the utility of retail ammunition purchase records in identifying prohibited firearm possessors, recommending a cost-benefit analysis on this measure.
These reports are the results of NIJ-funded projects but were not published by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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