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Limiting Gun Violence in California

Overview

The Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis and CCR researchers Glenn Pierce and Anthony Braga are working to evaluate California’s Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS), which is a law enforcement intervention that seeks to recover firearms from individuals who purchased them legally but subsequently became prohibited from having access to firearms.

Reasons for losing the legal right to own firearms include being convicted for a violent crime, hospitalized for mental illness associated with dangerousness to self or others, or being the subject of a domestic violence restraining order. These factors are often strongly associated with increased risk of future violence, but prior to APPS, no systematic efforts were made to recover firearms from this group.

APPS, an initiative of the California Department of Justice, uses that agency’s archive of firearm transfers to identify firearm owners among individuals who become prohibited persons under California or federal law. APPS then seeks to recover those firearms and thereby prevent both interpersonal and self-directed violence. After several years as a pilot program, APPS is being scaled up for statewide implementation. The goal of this project is to learn how effective APPS is at preventing violence.

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