Comprehensive Background Check Polices and Firearm Violence: Identifying Effective Design, Implementation, and Enforcement Strategies

Overview

This study of comprehensive background check and permit-to-purchase policies will estimate the effectiveness of these policies at reducing firearm crimes, and examine how their design, implementation, and enforcement may change their effectiveness.

Grant Amount: $612,673

Organization: University of California, Davis

Investigator: Rose Kagawa, assistant professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis

Expected Completion Date: Mid-2022

Project Summary

Purpose

Identify elements of comprehensive background check and permit-to-purchase polices that improve or reduce the effectiveness of these policies at reducing firearm violence and crime.

Approach

  • Collect data on comprehensive background check and permit-to-purchase policies across states via extensive document review and key informant interviews.
  • Create a database tracking the design, implementation, and enforcement elements of these two policies.
  • Estimate effects of specific design, implementation, and enforcement elements of each policy on the number of background checks completed, firearm crime rates (robbery and aggravated assault), and firearm fatality rates (homicides and suicides).
  • Estimate effects of implementation or repeal of policies on firearm crime rates.

Significance

The effectiveness of firearm policies can depend on how a policy is designed, implemented, and enforced. This study will provide further evidence to indicate whether comprehensive background check and permit-to-purchase policies are effective and to identify what influences their ability to reduce firearm violence and crime.

Investigator Bio

Rose Kagawa is an assistant professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis.