ERIC Number: ED368838
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Gun Acquisition and Possession in Selected Juvenile Samples. Research in Brief. December 1993.
Sheley, Joseph F.; Wright, James D.
This research summarizes the results of a study involving 835 inmates in six major correctional facilities within several states and 758 inner-city students from 10 high schools near the facilities, concerning the number and types of firearms juveniles possess as well as where, how, and why juveniles acquire and carry firearms. Research focused on serious juvenile offenders and on inner-city students because these groups are popularly thought to engage in and experience violence at rates exceeding those of most other groups. Among the findings are: (1) 83 percent of inmates and 22 percent of the students possessed guns, usually powerful revolvers or automatic and semiautomatic handguns; (2) most surveyed thought it would be easy to acquire a gun; (3) 45 percent of the inmates and 53 percent of the students would acquire their guns by "borrowing" from family or friends, and 54 percent of the inmates and 37 percent of the students said they would get one "off the street"; (4) drug use was moderately related to gun activity; and (5) the main reason given for owning or carrying a gun was self-protection. The report suggests that, from the viewpoint of policy, the problem to be addressed has less to do with where juveniles get their guns, but more importantly, combating the idea they have that a gun is needed to survive in their neighborhoods. (Contains 15 references.) (GLR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquent Prevention (Dept. of Justice), Washington, DC.