Denial of handgun purchase: A description of the affected population and a controlled study of their handgun preferences

Garen J Wintemute, Mona A. Wright, Carrie A. Parham, Christiana M. Drake, James J. Beaumont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study provided descriptive data on the denial of handgun purchases in California in 1991 and compared the handgun preferences of persons denied, as a result of prior criminal activity, to those of the general population of handgun purchasers. The study population consisted of all 3,589 persons whose handgun purchases were denied in the study year and a random sample of 7,197 persons whose handgun purchases were approved. Of those denied a handgun purchase, 3,276 (91.3 percent) were denied as a result of prior criminal activity; 2,014 (56.1 percent) had been convicted of a violent crime. Fewer than 1 percent of all federally licensed firearms dealers in the state were involved in more than half of all instances of the denial of handgun purchases. Compared to the general population of handgun purchasers, persons denied the right to purchase a handgun as a result of prior criminal activity were more likely to select handguns with barrel lengths of three inches or less (risk ratio [RR] = 1.45; 95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 1.38, 1.54) and were nearly twice as likely to select small, inexpensive handguns (RR = 1.91, 95 percent CI = 1.76-2.07).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume27
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science

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