Report on Reducing Gun Violence

Report on Reducing Gun Violence

A report from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) highlights actions that can be taken to reduce gun violence in the United States.

The report, Reducing Gun Violence: What Works, and What Can Be Done Now, covers what PERF learned in researching gun violence and convening a national meeting of police chiefs and other experts in 2018.

inmate being walked to cell by officer A main point of the report is that the gun violence problem in the United States is actually several different problems, with different causes, different perpetrators, different victims and different solutions. PERF members and researchers said that the gun violence problem should be seen as four different types of gun violence:

1) Suicides committed with guns.

2) “Everyday” criminal homicides and nonfatal shootings (including drug-related and gang-related violence, killings committed as part of a robbery or other crime, interpersonal disputes and other homicides).

3) Domestic violence involving firearms.

4) Mass shootings.

The report examines what is known about each category of gun violence, and explores promising approaches that can be taken to prevent and reduce each type of gun violence.

The report includes an action plan, with nine recommendations to reduce gun violence. Sample, abbreviated recommendations include:

  • Impose certainty of punishment for illegal possession of a firearm. Recommended approaches include that states should enact swift, certain and proportional punishments for people charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Penalties should be modest for first offenses, and increase proportionally for each subsequent offense.
  • Implement evidence-based policing strategies to target the small number of offenders who are responsible for most gun violence.
  • Limit the availability of high-powered firearms.
  • Assess threats to prevent mass shootings.
  • Expand gun violence research.

Access the full report here.

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