Home > Issue Briefs & Updates > FICAP Quarterly >Summer 07
Updated August 13, 2007

In the United States, firearms are involved in tens of thousands of deaths and injuries each year. The magnitude of this problem prompted the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to convene an expert panel to review the state of the science on firearms and violence. The panel issued a report in 2004 detailing the strengths and limitations of existing research on the relationship between firearms and violence.

In response, FICAP invited a multidisciplinary group of experts in the field of firearms and violence to form the National Research Collaborative on Firearm Violence. The Collaborative met in June 2005 to review the main findings of the NAS report and define a research agenda to fill research and data gaps, and to inform policy that reduces gun-related crime, deaths, and injuries.

A team of FICAP writers summarized the findings and recommendations of the Collaborative. This paper was published in Injury Prevention in April 2007. To see a copy of the abstract, please click here.

In addition to identifying specific research areas, the Collaborative identified several emerging themes and recommendations necessary to advance our understanding and ability to address firearms and violence. These include:

  • Data collection, data quality, and data access are key for future research creating standards for conducting research with sensitive informations.
  • Qualitative research is an important approach for describing the link between firearms and violence.
  • Partnerships between university-based researchers and community-based professionals in law enforcement, criminal justice and public health are important to make sure that research findings will be useful and feasible for informing practices.
  • Formative research and pilot studies should be used to improve the design and effectiveness of interventions reducing gun violence.
  • Given current restrictions, increased research funding is critical, especially federal government funding.