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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 165585 Find in a Library
Title: Predicting Criminal Behavior Among Authorized Purchasers of Handguns
Author(s): G Wintemute
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 0
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This presentation summarizes research conducted in California to test hypotheses related to the risk of future criminal activity among authorized handgun purchasers who have prior criminal histories.
Abstract: The research focused on the primary prevention of firearm-related violence and was prompted by awareness that gunshot wounds cause large numbers of deaths. The study used a historical cohort design to compare 6,831 legal gun purchasers who had prior criminal histories with a comparison group of 2,795 legal gun purchasers with no criminal histories. The comparison group was purposely made much smaller; only about 15 percent of legal gun purchasers have prior criminal histories. The participants purchased their guns in California in 1977 and were followed through 1991 or to the end of their residence in California, whichever occurred earlier. Data sources included the State's registry of dealer records and official criminal history records. Results indicated that most authorized gun purchasers had no criminal history and no future criminal activity. However, persons with criminal histories were at a higher risk of subsequent offenses. The degree of risk was related to the severity of the prior history. It was noted that current Federal criteria allow high-risk individuals to purchase handguns. Findings indicated that the criteria for denial of gun purchases could be broadened based on empirical data. Further research is being conducted. The speaker is a former emergency medicine physician and the current Director of the Violence Prevention Program at the University of California at Davis. Introduction and concluding remarks by National Institute of Justice Director Jeremy Travis, questions from audience members, and answers by the speaker
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): California; Citizen gun ownership; Criminality prediction; Dangerousness; Gun Control; Gun control legislation
Note: 65 minutes, VHS, color; NIJ Research in Progress
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