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New Gun Violence Research Addresses Officer-Involved Shootings, Intimate Partner Gun Violence, and Gun Ownership

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research announces $7.5 million in new commitments amid increase in firearms sales and deaths from gun violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and police violence protests.

Members from Save Our Streets Brooklyn bow their heads in prayer near the Raymond Bush Playground in Brooklyn, New York, on July 17, 2020. One-year-old Davell Gardner was fatally shot at the playground during a picnic on July 12, 2020. (Gabriele Holtermann/Sipa USA via Associated Press)

Sales of firearms and deaths from gun violence have increased across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic and protests responding to police violence, underscoring the need for rigorous research that can inform effective gun policy. 

Today, we are proud to share that the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research announced a commitment to fund up $10.6 million on topics including officer-involved shootings, intimate partner gun violence, and the risks and benefits of gun ownership and use. 

After receiving 238 letters of interest and inviting 48 full proposals representing $23 million in proposed research, the Collaborative’s independent, nonpartisan Research Advisory Committee selected nine research projects, five dissertation awards, and one white paper award to fund in its second round of grantmaking totaling $7.5 million. The Research Advisory Committee has invited three other grant applicants to revise and resubmit their proposals. If all three are accepted, the committee is prepared to commit up to an additional $3.1 million in funding for a total of $10.6 million in awards.

The funded projects include:

  • An analysis of the role of firearm access, use, and ownership in intimate partner homicide and intimate partner homicide-suicide in two states, Missouri and Oregon.
  • A study of data representing 7,200 incidents of officer-involved shootings as well as interviews with 30 law enforcement agencies with high numbers of officer-involved shootings. The results will inform training and policies to reduce future officer-involved shootings.
  • An expansion of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) in 2021 and 2022 to fill critical data gaps about risk factors for gun suicide and urban gun violence among youth and young adults, veterans, immigrants, and LGBT people. The CHIS annually collects information on 20,000 California adults and adolescents.
  • A prospective, multi-center study drawing on the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program to gain a better understanding of both individual and community-level risk factors associated with non-lethal firearm injuries.
  • An exploration of whether gun-free zones in St. Louis, Missouri, reduce or increase gun violence.
  • A white paper describing a rigorous method for evaluating the benefits or harms that gun policies impose on gun owners and users (funding provided in partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation).

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research was seeded with a $20 million gift from Arnold Ventures and has been supported by contributions from other organizations, including Wells Fargo, Missouri Foundation for Health, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. The announcement marks the Collaborative’s second large investment in gun policy research to help close a funding gap that has existed since the federal government discontinued most support of gun policy research more than two decades ago. In July 2019, the Collaborative awarded an initial round of $9.8 million to 17 research projects. At the end of 2019, the federal government began supporting gun violence research for the first time in more than 20 years with a one-year, $25 million commitment.

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A new generation of gun research

We are proud to fund the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, which funds scientific research to help develop fair and effective gun policy.

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