skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 145326     Find in a Library
Title: Gun Acquisition and Possession in Selected Juvenile Samples
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Joseph F. Sheley Ph.D. ; James D. Wright Ph.D.
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 11
  Series: NIJ Research in Brief
  Annotation: This study analyzed the number and types of guns owned by a sample of juveniles and where, how, and why they were obtained.
Abstract: Questionnaires were voluntarily and anonymously completed by 835 male serious offenders incarcerated in six juvenile correctional facilities in four States. A total of 758 male students in 10 inner-city high schools near the correctional facilities also completed the questionnaire. Because of the characteristics of the samples, the results are not generalizable to the U.S. population. Eighty-three percent of the inmates and 22 percent of the students possessed guns. Fifty-five percent of the inmates carried guns all or most of the time in the year or two before their incarceration; 12 percent of the students did so, with another 23 percent carrying guns now and then. The firearms of choice were high-quality, powerful revolvers, closely followed by automatic and semiautomatic handguns and then shotguns. Most of those surveyed considered it easy to acquire a gun. When asked how they would get a gun, 45 percent of the inmates and 53 percent of the students said they would "borrow" one from family or friends; 54 percent of the inmates and 37 percent of the students said they would get one "off the street." A total of 43 percent of the inmates and 5-6 percent of students said they used hard drugs. More inmates than students reported selling drugs. The main reason given for owning or carrying a gun was self- protection. Researchers concluded that the fundamental policy problem is convincing youths they can survive in their neighborhoods without being armed. 4 tables, 7 notes, and 15 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Gun Control ; Illicit firearms ; Criminology ; Controlled Substances
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
United States of America
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: From National Institute of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Research in Brief, December 1993.
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.