Policing Strategies for Reducing Gun Violence

Policing Strategies for Reducing Gun Violence: What We Know About Their Use and Effectiveness


Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (December 2009)


Christopher S. Koper

As part of the 2009 Congressional Briefing on "Evidence-Based Crime Policy: What We Know, What We Need to Know", Dr. Christopher Koper presented information about gun violence reduction strategies.

Strategies to reduce gun violence include a wide range of efforts to interrupt the illegal supply of guns, deter gun possession, reduce gun carrying in public places, toughen responses to illegal gun use, reduce demand for firearms, promote responsible ownership of guns, and address community conditions that foster gun crime. Law enforcement agencies are integral in all of these domains. In addition to investigating violent gun crimes after the fact, police can also use a variety of proactive strategies to reduce gun crime. In general, little is known about the extent or effectiveness of many such efforts. However, growing evidence suggests that efforts targeted on high risk places, behaviors, and actors are effective, particularly when conducted in the context of multi-agency problem-solving efforts. Partnerships with federal agencies have also become increasingly important to state and local efforts to reduce gun crime.

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