Law Enforcement Approaches for Reducing Gun Violence

April 22, 2020

Summary: Law enforcement agencies use a range of reactive and proactive strategies to respond to and prevent gun crime. While the rate of violent crimes committed with guns has declined substantially over the past 30 years, more research is needed on which approaches are most effective at reducing gun crime.

The national policy discourse on ways to further reduce gun violence focuses on either enhancing existing laws or passing new laws that could prevent violent crimes committed with guns (e.g., homicides, assaults, robberies) or other forms of gun violence (e.g., fatal and nonfatal firearm suicides, gun accidents). Such policies include universal background checks, bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, extreme risk protection orders, concealed-carry laws, waiting periods, child-access prevention (CAP) laws, minimum age requirements, prohibitions associated with domestic violence, licensing and permitting requirements, and a host of other laws and policies covered elsewhere in RAND’s Gun Policy in America project.

Debate about new policies rarely includes explicit discussion of what law enforcement is currently doing, under existing laws, to reduce violent crimes committed with guns. However, the rate at which violent crimes are committed with guns has declined substantially over the past 30 years. For example, the homicide rate, which is dominated by crimes that involve firearms, has dropped by 50 percent since 1980, with a large portion of that drop occurring from 1993 to 2014 (James, 2018). Although it can be hard to empirically prove that law enforcement actions caused the decline, most commentators conclude that at least some of this drop was caused by the response of law enforcement (Uggen and McElrath, 2013).

In this essay, we review the range of law enforcement activities focused on enforcing laws that govern the criminal misuse of guns (e.g., illegal possession) and violent crimes committed with guns (e.g., homicides, assaults, and robberies committed with firearms). We also comment on the existing research evidence.[1]

A convenient way to structure our tour of law enforcement activities is to divide our attention between standard (or traditional) law enforcement activities and proactive strategies. Standard law enforcement approaches involve monitoring and reacting to law violations when they occur;[2] proactive approaches involve a range of activities that seek to stop crimes before they occur. Both approaches aim to prevent crime in general. We first review standard law enforcement approaches, including enforcement of existing firearm laws and regulations and the response to individual crimes involving guns (e.g., the investigation and prosecution of such crimes). We then review proactive violent crime reduction and prevention interventions, which occasionally focus on violent crimes committed with guns.[3]

Standard Law Enforcement Approaches

The standard model of policing emphasizes random patrols, rapid response to 911 calls, and investigations of reported crimes (with the arrest of the perpetrator as the likely outcome). Enforcing firearm possession laws and responding to, investigating, and prosecuting gun crimes fit under this standard model. In this approach, increasing the number of law enforcement officers is the primary way to increase performance or enforcement (Weisburd and Eck, 2004). Both local and federal law enforcement have important, but differing, roles within the standard approach in enforcing gun laws and investigating gun crimes (see table below).

Standard Law Enforcement Approaches to Address Criminal Gun Misuse and Violent Crimes Committed with Guns

Local and state law enforcement approaches
Responding to crimes involving firearms
Investigating crimes involving firearms
Enforcing laws pertaining to the transfer and handling of firearms
Federal law enforcement approaches
Handling licensing, inspections, and commerce
Tracing crime guns
Prosecuting crimes committed with guns
Investigating trafficking, terrorism, and mass violence
Running the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN)
Running the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)

Regulatory and Criminal Enforcement of Ownership and Sales

Some law enforcement responsibilities listed in the table above include regulatory activities for limiting the criminal misuse of guns.[4] At the federal level, two agencies—the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)—engage in a variety of activities related to guns and gun crime, largely in the form of enforcing regulations and performing investigations. On the regulatory side, the FBI oversees the NICS, and the ATF regulates federal firearms licensees (FFLs) by processing licenses, conducting inspections, and tracking national firearm commerce. The NICS is a national resource that helps ensure that people legally excluded from purchasing a firearm are detected during a background check. In 2018 alone, more than 25 million background checks were conducted through the NICS. Meanwhile, the ATF is tasked with inspecting the 130,000 FFLs in the United States. It inspects roughly 8 percent of these FFLs per year, which results in a license revocation or surrender for roughly 1 percent of the FFLs inspected. In 2018, 42 percent of inspected FFLs were found to have no violations, 18 percent had a violation reported, 11 percent received a warning letter, and nearly 4 percent participated in a warning conference (ATF, 2019a). Local and state law enforcement agencies also engage in such state-specific regulatory activities as issuing concealed-carry permits or firearm purchase permits; they also may conduct background checks themselves.

A related function is the enforcement of criminal gun possession and trafficking laws on illegal firearm transfers, prohibited possessors, and prohibited locations. This includes ensuring that firearms are sold and handled appropriately and are owned legally. Firearms may be obtained illegally or by prohibited possessors through a variety of mechanisms; however, a firearm can go through several transactions (some of them legal) before ending up in the hands of a prohibited possessor. In surveys of offenders who committed crimes with a gun, friends and family were the most common source of the gun involved. The next most common sources were illicit sources (e.g., middlemen for stolen goods, sometimes called fences; street connections; drug dealers) and unlicensed gun stores or pawn shops (Cook, Parker, and Pollack, 2015).

At the federal level, enforcement can include investigating FFLs suspected of engaging in criminal activity, investigating interstate gun trafficking, and supporting local investigations of intrastate trafficking. At the local level, this might involve enforcing laws associated with firearm storage or arresting prohibited possessors. This local enforcement of criminal gun possession laws tends to vary dramatically across jurisdictions. In a survey of urban police agencies, 38 percent of police departments reported that their locality requires background checks for all firearm transfers; of those departments, 28 percent reported frequently or regularly investigating illegal firearm transfers, and 32 percent never investigated potentially illegal transfers (Koper, Woods, and Kobu, 2013). One-third of agencies reported receiving information about individuals prohibited from purchasing firearms who nevertheless attempted to buy one (potentially a felony). Of those departments, 45 percent reported regular follow-up on those cases, and 47 percent reported occasional follow-up. The effects of this enforcement of criminal gun possession and trafficking are unclear, because there is no research that examines how violent crimes committed with guns might be reduced through more-proactive enforcement and prosecution of gun law violations (Cook, Pollack, and White, 2019).

Random Patrol

The more-common aspects of the standard police response—specifically, the random patrol and arrest functions—are unlikely to contribute to substantial reductions in crimes committed with guns. The weakness of the standard policing model for reducing crime was evident in the mid-1970s (e.g., see the results of the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment; Kelling et al., 1974). While patrol is a necessary function of policing, it is now commonly recognized that patrol strategies should be systematic and data-driven (Koper, 1995). Much of this realization came from research in the late 1980s and early 1990s showing that most calls for service and criminal incidents occur at a small number of locations within a city and that these “hot spots” of crime tend to be stable over time (Sherman, Gartin, and Buerger, 1989; Weisburd et al., 2004).

Responding to and Investigating Violent Crimes Committed with Guns

Federal and local law enforcement agencies respond to violent crimes committed with guns in several ways. The FBI and the ATF are involved in investigations of gun trafficking, terrorism, and mass violence. The ATF also supports investigations by tracing the ownership of firearms involved in crimes (through the National Tracing Center) and by maintaining the NIBIN, which helps link guns to offenders or to multiple crimes. Gun tracing is useful for understanding the impact of laws on the source of guns (Collins et al., 2018), as well as for identifying common features or sources involved in the time-to-crime life cycle of guns. Occasionally, traces lead back to FFL dealers who are engaged in illegal or negligent activity or to straw purchases associated with gun crimes.[5] The ATF successfully traced 254,700 firearms in 2018. The use of both the NIBIN and the National Tracing Center has generally increased over time, but we do not know whether the use of these federal resources has significantly improved investigation success rates or led to reductions in violent crimes committed with guns. However, enhanced federal prosecution of violent offenders who commit crimes with guns is potentially effective, as we discuss later.

Importantly, the enforcement and prosecution of gun crimes may affect rates of violent crimes committed with guns. Police departments that arrest those engaging in violent crimes involving a gun might be expected to reduce community gun violence by incapacitating offenders at high risk of reoffending and by deterring future offenders. Moreover, as Cook and Ludwig (2018) argue, low clearance rates may encourage vigilante justice: “Arresting less than 10 percent of shooters (as is currently the case in Chicago) may not assuage the instinct of survivors, their families, and their gangs to avenge their victimization.”[6] Although national estimates may not be exact, roughly 60 percent of homicides are cleared in any given year through arrest or other circumstances; this percentage appears to be decreasing over time (Murder Accountability Project, 2019). Similarly, national estimates of nonfatal shootings and nonfatal shooting clearances are lacking, but most indicators suggest that the frequency of nonfatal shootings is much higher than that of fatal shootings, and that clearance of nonfatal shootings is much lower than clearance of homicides (performed with guns or other weapons).

Some recent research evidence suggests that a key reason for this gap in homicide clearance compared with nonfatal shooting clearance is the amount of resources dedicated to the initial response to and sustained investigation of homicides (Cook et al., 2019). Not surprisingly, in this analysis of homicides and nonfatal shootings in one city, increased resources devoted to homicide investigations produced more on-scene and postscene evidence collection, including witnesses interviewed, forensic evidence collected, and existing records reviewed (e.g., existing search warrants). The collection of more evidence is generally associated with increased clearance. Additional resources, better on-scene evidence collection, and more postscene evidence collection or forensic testing for homicide investigations are also associated with improved outcomes (Braga, Turchan, and Barao, 2019). With wide variability in clearance rates across localities (e.g., some clear more than 80 percent of homicides; Carter, 2013), cross-jurisdictional comparisons may be insightful. Much more research is needed in this area.

Many of the standard law enforcement approaches are important activities in their own regard and logically affect crime through deterrence and incapacitation. However, the extent to which certain elements of standard policing practices—such as the consistent enforcement of gun laws, improvements in violent crime investigations and clearance rates, or an increase in the role of federal enforcement activities—are related to violent crimes committed with guns is in need of further research.

Proactive Law Enforcement Approaches

During the peak violent crime years of the 1980s, law enforcement agencies started to experiment with more-proactive ways to reduce crime using methods that better focused limited resources. We now consider proactive policing strategies that have been designed to prevent or reduce crime and note where their effects on violent crimes or violent crimes committed with guns have been evaluated empirically. Many evaluations of these strategies do not differentiate violent crimes from violent crimes involving a gun. Although guns are very likely to be involved in violent crimes (e.g., homicides, armed robberies), without specified data, we cannot detect any specific effects on crimes committed with firearms. Therefore, we know considerably less about how some of the strategies discussed in this section affect violent crime involving a gun as opposed to violent crime in general.

For our discussion of proactive law enforcement approaches, we follow the general framework adopted for a recent consensus panel report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018) on proactive policing. This important report categorizes and describes four approaches to proactive policing:

  • place-based: focuses on the places where the most violent crimes committed with guns occur
  • problem-solving: addresses the underlying cause(s) of violent crimes committed with guns
  • person-focused: focuses on individuals at high risk of being perpetrators or victims of violent crimes committed with guns
  • community-based: uses community resources (and social connections) to counter violent crimes committed with guns and narratives supportive of such crimes.

Each of these proactive approaches has unique implementation considerations and varies with regard to the existing research evidence. Many proactive approaches overlap and can be placed in more than one of the categories. Therefore, we categorize the proactive approaches discussed in the following sections where they seem to fit best, but ours should not be considered a rigid classification.

Place-Based Approaches

Place-based approaches are predicated on the fact that crime concentrates in small geographic areas. Likewise, violent crime is not evenly distributed across communities and their populations. Typically, a large share of violent crime is associated with a small group of locations. Whether those are measured as “hot spots,” street segments, or neighborhoods, a small proportion of locations typically account for a majority of the violent crime that occurs within a city (Corsaro, 2018; Wilcox and Eck, 2011). Many violent crime prevention strategies in policing take advantage of this clustering by intervening with the subgroup of people responsible for a large share of the violence, with the locations where violent crime is most prevalent (i.e., hot spots), or with both.

Hot spot policing approaches focus on high-risk locations; many of the earliest versions of hot spot policing attempted to reduce violent crimes committed with guns through traditional law enforcement responses. These versions consist largely of stops and arrests in identified hot spots. Strategies include directed patrols, crackdowns on illegal weapon-carrying, and a focus on known offenders in hot spot locations.

In directed patrols, or “putting cops on dots,” patrol officers are assigned specific periods during which they must patrol a known high crime location (e.g., street corner, street block). Generally, this involves practicing the “Koper curve”—conducting random, 10- to 15-minute patrols in hot spots every two hours, instead of focusing only on stops and misdemeanor arrests or staying in a particular spot for long periods of time (Koper, 1995). More-recent evidence suggests that frequency of patrols, rather than duration, might be more important (Mitchell, 2017), but the overall evidence suggests that directed patrols can reduce violent crimes and violent crimes committed with guns, depending on the focus of the hot spot intervention (Braga, Papachristos, and Hureau, 2014).

Like directed patrols, crackdowns emphasize stops, searches, and arrests in hot spots, but they usually occur on a large scale and typically focus on specific problems in those areas (e.g., drug dealing, weapon-carrying). A review of hot spot crackdowns on illegal weapon-carrying found that this approach is generally associated with modest reductions in gun crimes, violent crimes committed with guns, and 911 calls for shots fired (Koper and Mayo-Wilson, 2006; see also Koper, Mayo-Wilson, and Smith, 2012). The long-term effects of these types of efforts are not well understood, but there is evidence that their effects might be short-lived (Koper, Mayo-Wilson, and Smith, 2012; Rosenfeld and Fornango, 2014; Sherman, 1990); more importantly, such efforts often contribute to police-community tensions when enacted too broadly, for too long, or without providing explanation to the community (Tyler, Fagan, and Geller, 2014). Indeed, community frustration with stop-and-frisk practices resulted in a federal judge finding the New York City Police Department liable for a pattern and practice of racial profiling and unconstitutional stops in 2013.

Another common type of place-based intervention focuses on offenders who live or gather in violent crime hot spots. As part of the Philadelphia Policing Tactics Experiment, the Philadelphia Police Department used crime analysts to identify repeat violent offenders who were living in or committing crime in violent crime hot spots. Officers then patrolled these areas and stopped and questioned repeat violent offenders. The nature of these contacts ranged from having informal conversations to serving arrest warrants. The results of a randomized controlled trial indicated that there was a 42-percent reduction in violent crimes (but not specifically in those committed with guns) and a 50-percent reduction in violent felonies relative to the control areas, which received random patrols (Groff et al., 2015).

Other place-based approaches reflect recent technological innovations. Closed-circuit television (CCTV), acoustic gunshot detection technology, and predictive policing are increasingly used to surveil and predict high crime locations. There is a substantial amount of research examining the effect of CCTV for preventing crime, and it is indicative of modest reductions in crime in general (Welsh and Farrington, 2009). The effect of CCTV on violent crimes and violent crimes committed with guns, however, is less clear. Acoustic gunshot detection technology can be used in conjunction with CCTV to detect and respond to shootings or criminal discharges of a firearm. Acoustic sensors are strategically placed in areas with high levels of shootings or violent crimes committed with guns, and advanced software is used to distinguish gunshots from other environmental noise. When gunshots are detected, an automatic alert is sent to law enforcement. The intention is to allow quicker response times to shootings in certain areas, but gunshot detection systems are typically associated with an increase in workload (which may be caused by false positives; Ratcliffe et al., 2019) and only slight improvements in response times (Mazerolle et al., 1998). There is little evidence that this method improves investigations or reduces violent crimes committed with guns (Mares and Blackburn, 2012).

Predictive policing uses historical crime data to identify locations and times in which particular crimes are most likely to occur. These predictions are then used to conduct hot spot patrols or inform other strategies. The research on predictive policing is limited, and the evidence that it reduces violent crimes is lacking. CCTV, acoustic gunshot detection, and predictive policing may lack effectiveness as stand-alone strategies, and they likely need to be used in conjunction with other strategies to effectively reduce violent crimes (Piza et al., 2015; Saunders, Hunt, and Hollywood, 2016).

One issue with place-based approaches to reducing violent crimes committed with guns is that it is difficult to know who to intervene with in target areas or hot spots (with the possible exception of offender-focused hot spot policing). This can lead to overenforcement or a “whack-a-mole” strategy, in which prioritizing certain areas leads to underenforcement of other problematic areas (Wang, Liu, and Eck, 2014). These issues, as well as intervention intensity, are particularly relevant when thinking about large-scale implementation of these kinds of approaches (Blattman et al., 2019; Collazos et al., 2020). In addition, place-based approaches that use traditional law enforcement tactics like those discussed earlier (e.g., arrest) tend to ignore the conditions that support crime at a particular location. For example, there are plenty of factors (e.g., the presence of payday lending facilities, alcohol outlets, motels, public high schools, or abandoned buildings) that have been shown to contribute to violent crimes that are not typically within the purview of police (Wilcox and Eck, 2011). Traditional policing responses within a place-based approach may be useful for targeting crimes at the worst-affected locations, but the underlying problems contributing to those crimes may go unaddressed. (Law enforcement and other elements of the criminal justice system are generally unable to effect change in the structural causes of crime and violence, such as poverty, joblessness, and concentrated disadvantage.) Addressing the criminogenic factors that police can affect (e.g., access control, lack of place management, lack of surveillance) could, in theory, lead to long-term crime prevention and eliminate the need for intensive police patrols and high arrest rates.

Problem-Solving Approaches

Problem-solving approaches address critiques of place-based policing by attempting to fix the conditions that contribute to crime in an area through a structured problem-solving process. One of the most popular problem-solving approaches is the Scanning, Analysis, Response, and Assessment (SARA) model (Eck and Spelman, 1987). The model is supposed to support an active and ongoing process that involves identifying problems (Scanning), understanding the nature of a problem through data and diverse perspectives (Analysis), developing and implementing solutions (Response), and evaluating whether the solutions were effective (Assessment). Problem-oriented policing (POP) and third-party policing are commonly used problem-solving strategies that may result from a structured problem-solving process, and they often complement one another. The main difference is that third-party policing includes the involvement of a non–law enforcement entity (e.g., property managers, parents, inspectors, civil ordinances) to exert social control and to prevent crime.

Reviews of POP in eight cities suggest that it is modestly successful at reducing crime (corresponding to a reduction of crime to 77 percent of preintervention levels, n = 11), with some evidence of reductions in violent crimes (corresponding to a reduction of violent crimes, but not specifically those committed with guns, to 81 percent of preintervention levels, n = 7) (Braga, Papachristos, and Hureau, 2014). Although there is the potential for different solutions to be implemented within the same POP strategy (one program evaluation noted 400 unique strategies; Braga, Hureau, and Papachristos, 2012), POP solutions associated with violent crime reductions seem to generally involve innovative approaches to addressing disorder and engaging the community in hot spots. The solutions often use a combination of enforcement, prevention, and other city services. Part of the appeal of problem-oriented approaches is that they often use police power to do something other than arrest people. For example, consider Operation Cul-de-Sac, which was implemented in Los Angeles in 1990. Law enforcement recognized that a substantial proportion of gang violence was happening in one cluster of neighborhoods, largely in the form of drive-by shootings. Hot spot policing would have stopped here, sending officers to the identified areas to patrol or arrest gun offenders. In this case, however, further geospatial analysis showed that many such locations were on the periphery of a neighborhood near a main thoroughfare—ideal for both drug dealing and quickly leaving the scene of a crime. Using a nontraditional response, the Los Angeles Police Department had traffic barriers installed in specific locations to block drive-through traffic. This is a good example of the complementary nature of problem-oriented and third-party approaches, where the police used what essentially amounts to traffic control and employed external resources to add a level of permanence to that control. An evaluation indicated that gang crime, drive-by shootings, and predatory crime were significantly reduced after the start of the program; crime reduction effects diminished after the barriers were eventually withdrawn (Lasley, 1996).

Examples of POP using leverage from noncriminal regulations to create third-party solutions include getting owners to remediate blighted buildings; removing litter, graffiti, and trash from the area; abating nuisances; and improving street lighting. Given the local nature of crime, nuisance abatement can be an effective solution if high crime properties are identified with problem tenants or poor management. For example, after identifying that several motels were associated with high rates of drug and violent crime calls for service, the Chula Vista Police Department identified that poor property management may have been a source of these problems (Bichler, Schmerler, and Enriquez, 2013). The department engaged property owners by providing information and support, used code enforcement and inspection as necessary, and developed a permit ordinance focused on safety standards. Other property management solutions have focused on problematic bars that have high levels of violent crimes, encouraging management to take steps to curb overconsumption, improving security staff training, and setting clear standards for behavior (Madensen and Eck, 2008; Roncek and Maier, 1991; Warburton and Shepherd, 2006).

The POP approach has also been used to disrupt illegal gun markets (Braga and Pierce, 2005). In their analysis of recovered guns, the Boston Police Department, the ATF, and researchers identified that the illegal diversion of handguns from retail outlets was a key source of firearms used in crimes. This resulted in a strategy that involved increased resources and attention to the traffickers providing the makes and calibers most frequently recovered from gang members, increased attention to handguns recovered shortly after being sold, the restoration of obliterated serial numbers, debriefs with arrestees to understand firearm pathways and develop leads, and communication about successful interventions of traffickers. Straw purchasers and unlicensed dealers made up the bulk of those investigated for trafficking. This market interruption strategy significantly reduced the number of recovered firearms that had recently been purchased (i.e., were less than three years old).

POP is a promising strategy for crime reduction and can be used as part of a place-based approach to reduce violent crimes and violent crimes committed with guns. A key benefit of POP is that it adds new and sometimes effective crime prevention tools to traditional law enforcement responses, often through bringing attention to problems that can be remedied through third parties, such as other government and community resources (e.g., removing blight). However, there are two open questions regarding the implementation of POP to address violent crimes committed with guns.

First, the approach is open-ended, often resulting in law enforcement attempting multiple interventions in their problem-solving response formulations. This makes it difficult to identify which solutions work better than others, especially because systematic data collection on problem-solving activities tends to be limited (Maguire, Uchida, and Hassell, 2015). Second, there is some research indicating that problem-solving processes (e.g., SARA) are frequently superficial when implemented in the field (Sidebottom and Tilley, 2011). That is, patrol officers may not conduct thorough analysis of identified problems or may not conduct any assessment at all (Cordner and Biebel, 2005). Engaging in these activities, presumably, is critical for engaging in an iterative problem-solving process. In addition, and possibly as a result of superficial analysis and response generation, officers pursuing POP strategies may still rely more on standard law enforcement responses than on those designed to produce lasting change (Schnobrich-Davis, Block, and Lupacchino, 2018). More research and more-rigorous research are still needed to understand which POP responses are most effective, particularly for reducing violent crimes committed with guns.

Performing homicide and shooting reviews is a problem-solving strategy that has also been used to reduce homicides and shootings, either alone or in conjunction with a focused deterrence strategy, which is discussed in the next section. For instance, the strategy adopted by Milwaukee’s Homicide Review Commission was associated with a 52-percent reduction in homicides in the targeted area compared with a 9-percent reduction in the comparison area (Azrael, Braga, and O’Brien, 2013). The first step in the Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission’s strategy involves immediate responses to homicide incidents, including increased patrols, and social services for victims and victims’ families. The next component is a review of homicide (and usually shooting) cases using a multiagency working group, including police, probation officers, the district attorney, the city attorney, a U.S. attorney, public schools, the housing authority, the medical examiner, the department of corrections, the U.S. Marshals, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, and the ATF. These reviews focus on describing the incidents using any pertinent information provided by the working group to strengthen investigations and increase clearance rates. Later, closed cases are reviewed by community service agencies and discussed in community reviews to identify community factors that are involved in homicides and shootings. These reviews led to interventions to address disorderly taverns and other nuisance properties, as well as enhanced supervision of high-risk offenders (15 percent of victims and 25 percent of suspects had been on supervision at the time of the homicide; close to half had been on probation at some point). This enhanced supervision reportedly included a focused deterrence approach (also known as a “pulling levers” approach), which communicates a clear deterrent message of an enhanced law enforcement response (i.e., “pulling every lever”) for specified behaviors.

Homicide and shooting reviews are recommended tools to improve intelligence-gathering, problem-solving, and information-sharing (Hipple et al., 2017). They may help law enforcement better understand the factors present in homicide and shooting incidents, such as gang member involvement, or location features, such as gang territory or nuisance locations (e.g., hourly motels, problematic bars). Although guidance exists for conducting these reviews (e.g., Braga, Hureau, and Grossman, 2014), more-rigorous research is needed to demonstrate their value and mechanisms of impact, whether through increases in case clearance or as part of a planned intervention to reduce violent crimes committed with guns.

Person-Focused Approaches

Person-focused approaches are used because violent crimes tend to cluster among a small group of people. For example, research underpinning Boston’s Operation Ceasefire revealed that 1 percent of Boston’s youth population was responsible for 60 percent of youth homicides in the city (Braga et al., 2001). Similar patterns exist in other cities with violent crime problems as well (Papachristos, Wildeman, and Roberto, 2015). Proactive policing policies that target people rather than places are another general approach that is closely associated with federal efforts to reduce violent crimes and violent crimes committed with guns.

Civil Gang Injunctions and Hot Lists

One person-focused approach that focuses specifically on gang members and has been in use since the late 1980s is the civil gang injunction (CGI). CGIs prohibit gang members from engaging in a variety of legal and illegal behaviors, including associating with other gang members in public. Much like the approach of nuisance abatement, CGIs allow for civil penalties against individuals engaged in prohibited behavior, which often includes possessing any firearms, ammunition, or illegal weapons or being around others with such weapons. Prosecutors and law enforcement work to map safety zones wherein these behaviors are illegal and identify individuals and gangs included in the CGI. CGIs are indefinite, but individuals are able to petition to have their names removed from the list. The effects of CGIs on violent crime appear to be mixed, with their effects being short-lived (Grogger, 2002; Maxson, Hennigan, and Sloane, 2005) or even increasing gang violence (Bichler et al., 2019), although CGIs may be useful as part of a broader strategy (Hennigan and Sloane, 2013). The mixed findings, however, prompt questions about CGIs’ usefulness, in addition to questions about the substantial restrictions they place on individual liberty (Caldwell, 2009).

A somewhat less intrusive approach to focusing on high-risk individuals is to use intelligence-gathering or actuarial risk assessments to generate lists of individuals who are at high risk of being involved in violent crimes (i.e., “hot lists”). Sometimes, these lists are created and amended based on officer knowledge, but the recent trend involves using police data (e.g., arrests, field contact cards, or stops) and occasionally nonpolice data to generate a numeric indication of risk. This calculation is often based on an individual’s police records, as well as those of his or her associates. Because involvement in violent crime is rare, being a victim or perpetrator of violent crime or being connected to a victim or perpetrator of violent crime substantially increases individual risk. Individuals with scores above a certain threshold are targeted for intervention. A review of Chicago’s predictive policing hot list suggests that much more research is needed to improve the accuracy of actuarial risk in the context of involvement in violent crimes committed with guns and that the use of such approaches should be part of a coherent violent crime reduction strategy (Saunders et al., 2016). There are also serious concerns about the potential for bias in actuarial assessments of risk, especially because some of the predictive algorithms are proprietary and not subject to public scrutiny (Degeling and Berendt, 2018).

Enhanced Prosecution of Felony Possession

One formative approach to reduce violent crimes committed with guns that set the stage for later approaches is Project Exile. Project Exile and similar programs specifically focus on enhanced prosecution, particularly federal prosecution, for felons in possession of firearms. Federal prosecution is often considered a valuable deterrent because federal court can sometimes impose longer prison sentences than state courts can. Lengthy sentences are often presented as achieving two aims in addressing gun crimes: (1) incapacitating incarcerated gun users for longer periods, preventing them from committing new gun crimes, and (2) deterring would-be violent criminals. The research evidence regarding the effectiveness of this approach is mixed, with only some studies finding support (Raphael and Ludwig, 2003; Rosenfeld, Fornango, and Baumer, 2005). Moreover, even the potential deterrent effect of this approach has been questioned by new criminological deterrence research that shows that many crime-prone populations, such as young men, do not consider consequences very far into the future (Doob and Webster, 2003; Durlauf and Nagin, 2011; Nagin, 2013; Paternoster, 1987). From this perspective, policies that increase the certainty of punishment are likely to be more salient than policies that increase already lengthy sentences. Because of this research, newer person-focused programs typically focus less on enhanced prosecution penalties.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

The largest person-focused brand name program, known as Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), has received more than $1.5 billion in federal funding since 2001 and is currently active (McGarrell et al., 2010; McGarrell, 2018). Because related programs operate through the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. District Attorney’s office is either responsible for or expected to be involved in the grant activities. Therefore, an oft-stated program element for many PSN programs is enhanced federal prosecution of violent gun offenders. The hallmarks of any PSN program are interagency law enforcement partnerships (i.e., task forces), data-driven processes, deterrence-based messaging, and focused enforcement and accountability (usually on gun offenders) (McGarrell, 2018). PSN programs can use a variety of collaborative strategies, including enhanced federal prosecution, enhanced state and local prosecution, law enforcement (e.g., directed patrol), parole and probation integration, community programs, gun trafficking interventions, and gang or criminal organization interventions.

The research evidence examining the effectiveness of PSN comes from multisite evaluations that use weak quasi-experimental designs, such as those comparing sites receiving the intervention with other sites that are not matched in terms of crime trends, demographics, or other factors relevant to violent crime risk. Thus, the evidence concerning PSN interventions is necessarily weak. Nevertheless, an analysis of PSN across 82 cities from 2001 to 2006 revealed an associated 13.1-percent reduction in violent crimes and a 10.5-percent reduction in firearm homicides, but only for “high dosage” sites (McGarrell et al., 2010). Although “dosage” (a combination of collaborative implementation, research integration into strategic planning, and enhanced federal prosecution) was found to be an important element of success, this study did not assess whether certain PSN strategies were associated with larger reductions in crime than others. Therefore, it is unclear whether focused deterrence or enhanced prosecution (and offender incapacitation) alone might be effective in reducing violent crimes.

Focused Deterrence

Currently, the most promising person-focused approach for reducing violent crimes committed with guns is “pulling levers,” or focused deterrence, which is included in the PSN suite. This strategy has been implemented in many cities across the United States, and it is associated with favorable evaluation evidence overall. Focused deterrence can be considered a form of POP (Tillyer and Kennedy, 2008) because it requires a strong understanding of the problem with ongoing analysis; develops a tailored intervention based on the nature of the problem and the local resources (e.g., intervening with youth versus adults, considering probation issues); and requires an ongoing assessment of outputs, ideally with an appropriate outcome evaluation design.

Key features of the focused deterrence approach include a direct intervention with individuals who (1) are well-known to police, (2) commit a disproportionate share of crime, (3) are likely under criminal justice supervision, and (4) frequently operate in groups that influence and could thus hypothetically change group member behavior (Kennedy, 1996). In addition, focused deterrence programs address specific behaviors. Thus, there is a focus on specific individuals committing specific crimes (e.g., homicide, open-air drug dealing).

The intervention involves direct police communication with identified high-risk individuals about the consequences should they engage in specific proscribed behaviors. These communications usually occur through offender notification meetings or call-ins. The law enforcement message for a group-based focused deterrence call-in includes the following steps:

  1. informing an individual that he or she has been identified as at high risk for engaging in or being the victim of a fatal or nonfatal shooting
  2. stating that law enforcement is now focusing on homicides and shootings
  3. stating that subsequent acts of violence will result in immediate action from law enforcement (or probation officials) in the form of increased attention and enforcement for the whole group.

The call-in may include an example of group members from a previous call-in who did not heed the message. This message is intended to change the individuals’ perceptions of risk of apprehension and to induce group pressure to avoid committing violence. These messages may also be distributed to the public via radio or television. Call-ins also include speakers who represent the community, murder victims, and social services, who serve to challenge norms that encourage violence and offer alternative behaviors (National Network for Safe Communities, 2016). Many focused deterrence programs incorporate intervention components from other entities, such as criminal justice supervision (e.g., probation, parole, reentry), social services, and the community. For instance, some focused deterrence efforts use a community moral voice or outreach worker component to communicate messages of the harm caused by shootings and to counter the narratives that support street violence. Whether these components contribute to the effectiveness of focused deterrence has not been evaluated.

Versions of this focused deterrence approach have been implemented in many cities but have yet to be subjected to randomized controlled trials, the gold standard for evaluating the effects of a program. Braga, Weisburd, and Turchan (2018) recently updated their prior meta-analysis of focused deterrence interventions (n = 24) and found the approach to have “moderate effects” on violent crimes committed with guns, corresponding to a reduction to 62 percent of preintervention levels of violent crimes committed with guns. Programs that focused on groups and gangs tended to be more effective, but programs focused on high-rate offenders have also been successful (Papachristos, Meares, and Fagan, 2007).

Although the current research evidence is suggestive of significant reductions in violent gun crime, more-rigorous evaluation designs may more accurately reveal the magnitude of the true effect, given that stronger designs tend to show weaker effects (Braga and Weisburd, 2014; Braga et al., 2019). Some researchers have already begun employing more-rigorous quasi-experimental methods, with evidence of small but significant effects (Braga, Hureau, and Papachristos, 2014; Braga et al., 2019).

It is also important to begin to isolate the mechanisms by which focused deterrence might have effects. Braga (2012) discusses how most of the evaluation research on focused deterrence does not discuss the actions that contribute to reductions in violent gun crime and speculates that a wider set of mechanisms might be implicated than just those described as components of the intervention. For instance, procedural fairness, community social control, and incapacitation may play important roles beyond those features of the intervention that are explicitly parts of its design. Saunders et al. (2016) examined some of these potential mechanisms of effect for a deterrence program that focused on overt drug markets and chronic offenders within those markets. They found that community members perceived both that enforcement action incapacitated the drug market and that police were more effective, which may have improved willingness to cooperate with police. Residents did not often report improved perceptions of community social control and police legitimacy, with some negative perceptions reported (e.g., police harassment). Because the various components of focused deterrence are expected to be implemented together (e.g., direct communication, enforcement action, services), a good starting point for improved evaluation might include more-detailed measurement of program inputs, which can be modeled as part of the evaluation to understand whether certain components are more important than others (Roman et al., 2018).

Measuring the mechanisms and dosage of focused deterrence over time speaks to the final critical issue for its success—sustainability. Sustainability is a major concern for both PSN and focused deterrence programs (McGarrell et al., 2010). Several evaluations have noted that the effects appear to be short-lived. Fox and Novak (2018), in a recent evaluation of Kansas City’s focused deterrence program, found that there was an immediate reduction in homicides and gun-involved aggravated assaults during the first 12 months of the intervention, but these rates returned to pre-intervention levels three years into the program. Similarly, Grunwald and Papachristos (2017) found that the significant effects of PSN in Chicago were only evident during the first several years of the program. Unlike Fox and Novak (2018), however, Grunwald and Papachristos speculate that this was caused by program expansion that did not include an expansion of resources, reducing the intervention dosage. Even the highly successful and acclaimed Boston Ceasefire, also known as the Boston Miracle, was abandoned (and later revived), with corresponding increases (and decreases) in violent crimes committed with guns (Braga, Hureau, and Winship, 2008; Braga, Hureau, and Papachristos, 2014). Such an ebb-and-flow process for implementation dosage might be common with these programs, and although recommendations exist (Tillyer, Engel, and Lovins, 2012), the sustainability issue has not been examined systematically.

Community-Based Approaches

One of the tensions created by the proactive approaches is that they are very targeted, and those targets are often underrepresented minorities and places that are frequented by these groups. Community-based efforts are based on responding to this tension and seek to foster social cohesion, trust, and willingness to work together to confront crime. Many of these approaches target the community-level physical or social factors that may contribute to environmental risk of violent crimes, such as social disorganization, narratives supportive of violence, the prevalence of gangs, or abandoned or blighted properties. The main feature of these community-based programs is that they are not led by law enforcement. Instead, law enforcement agencies are asked to support and enable the effort. These community partnerships can have the benefit of enhancing police legitimacy or improving community relations, in addition to reducing violence. One way this has been done is through partnerships between police and black clergy, combining the social capital and existing community networks of black churches with messages of nonviolence, engaging in information-sharing or messaging that communicates the nature of police actions, and increasing ownership of crime problems by the community. Still, there are challenges inherent in building and sustaining such community partnership approaches that may be related to the political, interpersonal, and social dynamics of the community (Brunson et al., 2013). In addition, it is unclear whether such efforts directly affect violent crimes involving guns.

One of the most well-known community-based approaches targeted at preventing violent crimes committed with guns is Cure Violence, or the violence interrupter model (Slutkin, Ransford, and Decker, 2015). Violence interrupters and outreach workers tend to be individuals with prior gang involvement, involvement in the justice system, or local connections who use their knowledge, experience, and relationships to understand and interrupt gun violence and the cycle of retaliatory violence. The core components of the model include detecting and interrupting potentially violent conflicts (e.g., at shooting scenes, community events); identifying, engaging with, and managing high-risk individuals; and communicating and changing community norms to reject violence. These programs are not driven by law enforcement but may be coordinated with law enforcement. For example, interrupters may rely on law enforcement for notifications of shooting incidents, hot spot maps, or other official data to guide their work. The nature of this work often requires avoiding a perception that interrupters are cooperating with law enforcement, and, in some cases, it is marked by open hostility toward police (Kennedy, 2011). Often, these programs work through official partnerships with hospitals. Research suggests that the effectiveness of this model is mixed and suffers from weak evaluation designs (Butts et al., 2015). Further research is needed to understand factors contributing to mixed results, which may be informed by a forthcoming systematic review (for details, see Maguire, Telep, and Abt, 2018).

Several other community-based approaches focus on improving property and economic conditions that have been found to be associated with reductions in violent crimes committed with guns. For instance, Moyer et al. (2019) discuss a Philadelphia study in which 110 clusters of blocks in the city were randomly assigned to have their vacant lots receive a greening intervention, a less-intensive mowing and trash collection intervention, or no intervention. Both the greening intervention, which created a “parklike” environment, and the less-intensive mowing and trash pickup intervention were associated with statistically significant reductions in shootings.

Similarly, the emergence of business improvement districts (BIDs) have also been associated with reductions in violent crimes. BID organizations consist of business and property owners interested in economic and urban development efforts aimed at revitalizing urban areas. They often pay for supplemental security and sanitation services in an effort to create safe and clean spaces to reduce fear and crime, with the goal of attracting more consumers. BIDs have been associated with reduced rates of robbery and violent crimes, primarily within the boundaries of the BID area (MacDonald et al., 2010; MacDonald et al., 2013). Similarly, gentrification, or the population and housing shifts that occur when higher-income households move into lower-income areas, has been associated with lower rates of violent crimes (Papachristos et al., 2011; Barton, 2016), although this is not always the case, and gentrification may cause short-term increases in violent crimes (Lee, 2010). It is difficult to verify that gentrification caused the drops in crime rather than the other way around (O’Sullivan, 2005). Both BIDs and gentrification face serious challenges from existing community residents because they often exclude current residents or influence local political decisionmaking in ways that may exacerbate existing social inequality (Hoyt and Gopal-Agge, 2007).

All of the community-based approaches discussed earlier have advantages over traditional policing practices that may contribute to long-term effects; however, the research evidence is very limited and tends to be mixed. In addition, there are challenges to implementing and sustaining these efforts, often corresponding to the social, political, and environmental conditions in which they are embedded. Nonetheless, they deserve to be considered as part of the toolkit for preventing community gun violence, in part because they provide an entry point into a community-focused understanding of gun violence. The reality is that (1) homicides in the United States are concentrated in poor urban communities, and (2) the homicide rate, which is driven by gun violence in the United States, dropped 50 percent from 1980 to 2016.[7] This drop is even more dramatic in large cities with more than 1 million people, where the drop was 70 percent from 1990 to 2016 (James, 2018). Simply put, communities, especially urban minority communities, are much safer than they were 30 years ago (Sharkey, 2018). As a research exercise, it is impossible to identify any one cause, but research does suggest that it is important not to overemphasize law enforcement to the exclusion of other community-based efforts by both government and nonprofit agencies (Sharkey et al., 2017). In addition, although community approaches may have unique impacts on violent crimes committed with guns, it is important not to overlook the potential for collaborative partnerships between community groups and law enforcement to target and resolve particular problems or sources of violent crimes committed with guns, which may contribute to other important second-order effects (e.g., better police-community relations and legitimacy, improved cooperation from the community in investigating violent crimes, improved case clearance). While such collaborative efforts certainly exist, little is known about their effects.

Conclusions

In this essay, we have reviewed a range of reactive and proactive law enforcement approaches to enforce gun laws and to respond to and prevent gun crime. The research in this space is rather uneven. Although we have a general sense that law enforcement deserves some credit for the drop in the number of homicides committed with guns, very little is known about the exact mechanisms through which standard law enforcement practices, such as enforcement of gun ownership laws or investigations of violent crimes committed with guns, might affect rates of criminal misuse of guns and violent crimes committed with guns. As a result, we do not have strong evidence for the best approaches to improving case clearance. The evidence for the mechanisms behind proactive policing is stronger, and the recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018) evaluation was cautiously optimistic about these approaches, particularly in the short term.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine evaluation was also quick to note that the research that does exist suffers from important limitations, including that evidence does not typically derive from rigorous experimental designs, or even strong quasi-experimental designs, that might help distinguish the effects of the policing intervention from local trends in violent crimes (see Braga and Weisburd, 2014). Similarly, the studies that have been conducted are often evaluations of complex interventions involving multiple agencies or multiple potential mechanisms of effect. As a result, it is difficult to evaluate which intervention components are critical to success and nearly impossible to replicate more than just the spirit or general principles of the intervention in a new location. Finally, some interventions may work best only in the short term because of challenges in sustaining the collaborations, expertise, focus, and unity of purpose they require to remain effective. In general, much of our knowledge about the effectiveness of a variety of policing approaches is limited to the short term (one to two years of data) and is focused on small geographic units (e.g., hot spots, cities), while much of our knowledge about the effects of gun ownership laws relies on long-term evaluations and is focused on large geographic units (e.g., states, nations). Efforts to merge these lines of research may prove useful—for example, new state regulations requiring a permit to purchase a handgun could be evaluated at the city level to discover how the regulations contributed to changes in enforcement and crime. With these important caveats, there is some evidence that place-based approaches, problem-solving approaches, and person-focused approaches can reduce violent crimes and violent crimes committed with guns when appropriately matched to the problem and when implemented well. More-rigorous research is needed for each of the approaches discussed in this essay.

Notes

  1. We omit discussion of the potential impact of law enforcement activity on other types of gun violence (e.g., suicides, accidents) or specific types of violent crime (e.g., gang crime, domestic violence). We do note where research evidence suggests that a particular law enforcement approach is empirically associated with reductions in violent crimes that are not specific to violent crimes committed with guns. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, firearms were involved in 70 percent of all homicides from 1993 to 2011, but less than 10 percent of all nonfatal violent crime involved a firearm (Planty and Truman, 2013). As a result, the exact impact of a given policy on the prevalence of violent crimes committed with guns is uncertain in some cases. Finally, although our goal is to comment on the existing state of the research evidence, several of the approaches that we discuss are part of complex systems and are inherently difficult to evaluate even with the most-rigorous research designs (e.g., randomized controlled designs). In addition, some of the approaches discussed here are still relatively new, and research tends to accumulate slowly. Therefore, to say that an approach needs more evaluation does not necessarily mean that it does not play a useful role or that it does not affect outcomes. Return to content
  2. This form of law enforcement replaces the private pursuit of justice (i.e., vigilantism) with the public or societal pursuit of justice. Return to content
  3. Many of these approaches have been the subject of systematic reviews or meta-analyses elsewhere. Where that is the case, we consulted those sources. Where that is not the case, we used a targeted search of the literature to describe the approach and provide examples to illustrate the application of the approach. We also rely on many of the judgments and much of the framework used in a report on proactive policing by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018). Return to content
  4. Regulatory activities might be considered proactive, in the sense that they do not usually respond to a reported crime or infraction. We consider regulatory activities as standard law enforcement because these activities are often more akin to a random patrol approach to uncover ongoing crime, and there does not seem to be a strategic decision to emphasize prevention. For example, even though random patrols are not focused on being proactive or preventing crime, the presence of officers on patrol does provide a general level of deterrence and may occasionally result in the discovery of a crime or violation that has not been reported. Regulatory activity is more analogous to this than to the proactive approaches we discuss later. Return to content
  5. A straw purchase is when someone goes through the gun purchasing process (including the background check) and gives the gun to another person upon receipt. Return to content
  6. Clearance by arrest occurs when at least one person is arrested for a crime, charged, and turned over to the court for prosecution; clearance by exceptional means occurs when an agency has identified at least one person, gathered enough evidence for an arrest, identified the person or people’s location(s)—but then encountered an obstacle that prevented arrest (FBI, 2012). Return to content
  7. The bulk of this drop occurred from 1993 to 2014; there has been a slight increase since 2014. Return to content

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  • Vittes, Katherine A., Daniel W. Webster, Shannon Frattaroli, Barbara E. Claire, and Garen J. Wintemute, “Removing Guns from Batterers: Findings from a Pilot Survey of Domestic Violence Restraining Order Recipients in California,” Violence Against Women, Vol. 19, No. 5, 2013, pp. 602–616.
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  • Webster, D., C. K. Crifasi, and J. S. Vernick, “Effects of the Repeal of Missouri’s Handgun Purchaser Licensing Law on Homicides,” Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 91, No. 2, 2014, pp. 293–302.
  • Webster, D. W., L. H. Freed, S. Frattaroli, and M. H. Wilson, “How Delinquent Youths Acquire Guns: Initial Versus Most Recent Gun Acquisitions,” Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 79, No. 1, 2002, pp. 60–69.
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  • Webster, Daniel W., Jon S. Vernick, and Maria T. Bulzacchelli, “Effects of State-Level Firearm Seller Accountability Policies on Firearm Trafficking,” Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, Vol. 86, No. 4, 2009, pp. 525–537.
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  • Webster, Daniel W., Jon S. Vernick, Emma E. McGinty, and Ted Alcorn, “Preventing the Diversion of Guns to Criminals Through Effective Firearm Sales Laws,” in Daniel W. Webster and Jon S. Vernick, eds., Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis, Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013, pp. 109–121.
  • Webster, D. W., J. S. Vernick, A. M. Zeoli, and J. A. Manganello, “Association Between Youth-Focused Firearm Laws and Youth Suicides,” JAMA, Vol. 292, No. 5, 2004, pp. 594–601.
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  • Wintemute, Garen J., Veronica A. Pear, Julia P. Schleimer, Rocco Pallin, Sydney Sohl, Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, and Elizabeth A. Tomsich, “Extreme Risk Protection Orders Intended to Prevent Mass Shootings: A Case Series,” Annals of Internal Medicine, August 2019.
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  • Wright, M. A., and G. J. Wintemute, “Felonious or Violent Criminal Activity that Prohibits Gun Ownership Among Prior Purchasers of Handguns: Incidence and Risk Factors,” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, Vol. 69, No. 4, 2010, pp. 948–955.
  • Wright, M. A., G. J. Wintemute, and B. E. Claire, “People and Guns Involved in Denied and Completed Handgun Sales,” Injury Prevention, Vol. 11, No. 4, 2005, pp. 247–250.
  • Wright, M. A., G. J. Wintemute, and B. E. Claire, “Gun Suicide by Young People in California: Descriptive Epidemiology and Gun Ownership,” Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol. 43, No. 6, 2008, pp. 619–622.
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  • Zeoli, April M., Shannon Frattaroli, Kelly Roskam, and Anastasia K. Herrera, “Removing Firearms from Those Prohibited from Possession by Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: A Survey and Analysis of State Laws,” Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2019, pp. 114–125.
  • Zeoli, April M., Alexander McCourt, Shani Buggs, Shannon Frattaroli, David Lilley, and Daniel W. Webster, “Analysis of the Strength of Legal Firearms Restrictions for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence and Their Associations with Intimate Partner Homicide,” American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 187, No. 11, 2018, pp. 2365–2371.
  • Zeoli, A. M., and D. W. Webster, “Effects of Domestic Violence Policies, Alcohol Taxes and Police Staffing Levels on Intimate Partner Homicide in Large U.S. Cities,” Injury Prevention, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2010, pp. 90–95.
  • Zimmerman, Paul R., “The Deterrence of Crime Through Private Security Efforts: Theory and Evidence,” International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 37, 2014, pp. 66–75.
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View the full project bibliography