Homicide and geographic access to gun dealers in the United States

Wiebe, Douglas J.; Krafty, Robert T.; Koper, Christopher S.; Nance, Michael L.; Elliott, Michael R.; Branas, Charles C.
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9, p199
Academic Journal
Background: Firearms are the most commonly used weapon to commit homicide in the U.S. Virtually all firearms enter the public marketplace through a federal firearms licensee (FFL): a store or individual licensed by the federal government to sell firearms. Whether FFLs contribute to gun-related homicide in areas where they are located, in which case FFLs may be a homicide risk factor that can be modified, is not known. Methods: Annual county-level data (1993-1999) on gun homicide rates and rates of FFLs per capita were analyzed using negative binomial regression controlling for socio-demographic characteristics. Models were run to evaluate whether the relation between rates of FFLs and rates of gun homicide varied over the study period and across counties according to their level of urbanism (defined by four groupings, as below). Also, rates of FFLs were compared against FS/S -which is the proportion of suicides committed by firearm and is thought to be a good proxy for firearm availability in a region - to help evaluate how well the FFL variable is serving as a way to proxy firearm availability in each of the county types of interest. Results: In major cities, gun homicide rates were higher where FFLs were more prevalent (rate ratio [RR] = 1.70, 95% CI 1.03-2.81). This association increased (p < 0.01) from 1993 (RR = 1.69) to 1999 (RR = 12.72), due likely to federal reforms that eliminated low-volume dealers, making FFL prevalence a more accurate exposure measure over time. No association was found in small towns. In other cities and in suburbs, gun homicide rates were significantly lower where FFLs were more prevalent, with associations that did not change over the years of the study period. FFL prevalence was correlated strongly (positively) with FS/S in major cities only, suggesting that the findings for how FFL prevalence relates to gun homicide may be valid for the findings pertaining to major cities but not to counties of other types. Conclusion: Modification of FFLs through federal, state, and local regulation may be a feasible intervention to reduce gun homicide in major cities.


Related Articles

  • Gunfight at the I'm ok, you're ok corral. Mehlman, P. // GQ: Gentlemen's Quarterly;Sep91, Vol. 61 Issue 9, p205 

    Examines the popularity of the Beverly Hills Gun Club in West Los Angeles, California. Membership costs $165 per year; Rental handguns, which range from .22's to 9-mm. semiautomatics cost $2; Celebrity members include Sylvester Stallone, Jamie Lee Curtis and Eddie Murphy; Founder and chairman...

  • MY MOST UNIQUE GUN. Venturino, Mike "Duke" // Guns Magazine;Mar2016, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p20 

    A personal narrative is presented which explores the author's experience of determining which gun he owned that he would still have to explain exactly what it was to a knowledgeable gun person.

  • Double-barrelled baloney. Reed, Christopher // Bulletin with Newsweek;10/10/2000, Vol. 118 Issue 6245, p20 

    Comments on use of guns in the United States. Accounts of the uses of the gun by early Americans; Refutation of gun ownership in the book 'Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture,' by Michael Bellesiles; Inefficacy of musket guns in battle; Credit for the perfection of...

  • Does owning a firearm increase or decrease the risk of death? Cummings, Peter; Koepsell, Thomas D. // JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association;8/5/98, Vol. 280 Issue 5, p471 

    Examines studies on the risks of premature death due to gun ownership. Risks of homicide, suicide or accidental injury; Use for self-defense; Study design issues; Exposure, cohort and case-control study methods; Results of six published case-control studies; Firearms in the home; Conclusions.

  • Until the Next Shooting. McKay, Jim // Emergency Management;Sep/Oct2012, Vol. 7 Issue 5, p10 

    The author says calls for gun control are expected especially after shooting incidents perpetuated by unstable individuals. He observes however that gun lobby groups will promptly oppose such calls. He believes however that most gun owners will still accept additional restrictions on gun shows...

  • What are the risks and benefits of keeping a gun in the home? Kleck, Gary; Fontanarosa, Phil B. // JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association;8/5/98, Vol. 280 Issue 5, p473 

    Discusses the empirical evidence available on the aggressive and defensive uses of guns in the home. Study focus on homes versus use outside of the home; Effect on rates of homicide and suicide; Case-control studies; Homicide victimization; Defensive use of firearms; Participants; Controls for...

  • Gun Availability and Violent Crime: New Evidence from the National Incident-Based Reporting System. Stolzenberg, Lisa; D'Alessio, Stewart J. // Social Forces;Jun2000, Vol. 78 Issue 4, p1461 

    Using four years of county-level data drawn from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) for South Carolina and a pooled cross-sectional time-series research design, we investigate whether gun availability is related to violent crime, gun crime, juvenile gun crime, and violent...

  • EXERCISING THE RIGHT. KREY, PATRICK // New American (08856540);6/3/2013, Vol. 29 Issue 11, p40 

    The article reports on the series of stories featuring gun owners who use their weapons to exercise their right self-defense. It states the off-duty cop from Buffalo, New York has shot an intruder in his house who has a long history of convictions. It notes the man who was shot after beating the...

  • Hostile fire continues. Ko, Marnie // Report / Newsmagazine (National Edition);2/18/2002, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p27 

    Discusses the gun registry in Canada, which will be privately managed. Expense of the gun-control program in Canada; Problem of keeping track of the number of guns which enter the country with foreign visitors; Firearms which have been re-classified as illegal weapons; Compliance of gun owners...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics