Patterns of gun acquisition, carrying, and use among juvenile and adult arrestees: Evidence from a high-crime city

Adam M. Watkins, Beth M. Huebner, Scott Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Researchers continue to examine the macrolevel trends of gun crime but little consensus exists regarding the microlevel determinants of gun behaviors. Moreover, little is known if patterns of gun behavior vary between adults and juveniles. This research examines patterns of gun possession, carrying, and use across adult and juvenile arrestees. This research moves beyond descriptive studies of aggregate gun patterns and explores the demographic and perceptual correlates that may inhibit or facilitate gun behaviors. Current results illustrate the prevalence of gun-involved behaviors among adults and juveniles, though juveniles were more likely to carry and fire a gun. Results also suggest that gun behaviors among juveniles are largely driven by gang membership, while ready access to guns, fear of the street, and the risks of arrest influence adult behaviors. Present findings have implications for gun policy, particularly as it relates the role of deterrence-based programming and demand-side initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-700
Number of pages27
JournalJustice Quarterly
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Arrested offenders
  • Gun behaviors
  • Perceived sanctions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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