Abstract

Efforts to prevent firearm violence focus in part on federal licensees—gun dealers and pawnbrokers. Some licensees account for disproportionate sales of firearms later used in crime or denied because of failed background checks. These characteristics tend to co-occur and have been used to identify licensees who may be important point sources of firearms used in crime. Using data from a forty-three-state survey, this study finds licensee and community attributes associated with these characteristics, including sales of inexpensive handguns, exposure to illegal activity, and location in a major metropolitan area. Respondents with disproportionate sales and denied sales express increased concern about firearm violence and support for policies to prevent it, suggesting that some important sources of crime-involved firearms could be significant partners in prevention efforts.

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