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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Thousands of Americans are killed by gunfire each year, and hundreds of thousands more are injured or threatened with guns in robberies and assaults. The burden of gun violence in urban areas is high and concentrated among a small number of criminally active people and occurs in a small number of places within cities. This chapter reviews varied criminal justice interventions to deny criminal access to firearms and reduce criminal possession, carrying, and use of firearms. The research suggests that criminals acquire guns from a variety of sources including illegal diversions from legitimate firearms commerce. While more evaluation evidence is needed, supply-side interventions are promising in reducing criminal access to firearms. The evaluation evidence on the effects of sentencing enhancements on gun crime is mixed. A growing body of research evidence shows that hot spots policing programs and focused deterrence strategies to control repeat gun offenders can reduce gun violence.

Keywords: firearms, gun crime, gun violence, deterrence, sentence enhancements, crime hot spots

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