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NCJ Number: 178045 Find in a Library
Title: Controlling New Mexico Juveniles' Possession and Use of Firearms
Journal: Justice Research and Policy  Volume:1  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 1999  Pages:25-49
Author(s): C Birkbeck; G LaFree; L Gabaldon; A Bassin; N Wilson; M Fernandez; M Pacheco
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 25
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: As a first step in identifying potential opportunities for improved gun control, this study examined aspects of firearms possession and use among a sample of juvenile offenders as well as system responses to firearms incidents that involved juveniles in two New Mexico counties.
Abstract: The main data sources were a self-report questionnaire administered to 380 juvenile offenders in confinement and information on 135 firearms incidents that led to the arrest of one or more juveniles. Results show that firearms were readily accessible to juvenile offenders and were carried most often for self-defense or aggression rather than as status symbols. Two- thirds of firearms incidents became known to police after calls were made by citizens. These calls often concerned violent or property crimes. One-third of the incidents were detected by the police following searches in public places. Compared to cases initiated by citizens, those initiated by police intervention were more likely to lead to charges being filed and to subsequent adjudication, mainly on weapons charges. This article concludes by recommending that the police increase their monitoring of situations in which juveniles are likely to be carrying firearms illegally. 9 tables and 24 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile gun ownership
Index Term(s): Illicit firearms; New Mexico; Weapon carrying; Weapons violations
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