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Factors Affecting a Recently Purchased Handgun's Risk for Use in Crime under Circumstances That Suggest Gun Trafficking.

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Publication Date: March 2010

Publisher(s): Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine

Author(s): Mona A. Wright; Garen J. Wintemute; Daniel W. Webster


Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation


Keywords: Crime; violence; firearms

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


While many handguns are used in crimes each year in the U.S.A., most are not. This study identifies factors present at the time of a handgun’s most recent retail sale that were associated with its subsequent use in crime under circumstances suggesting that the handgun had been trafficked—purchased with the intent of diverting it to criminal use. Handguns acquired in multiple-gun purchases were of particular interest.

Using data for 180,321 handguns purchased from federally licensed retailers in California in 1996, it studies attributes of the handguns, the retailers selling them, the purchasers, and the sales transactions. Its findings suggest specific strategies for intervention to prevent gun violence.