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Northeastern researchers team up with PayPal to tackle illegal firearm transactions

Ammunition standing up

PayPal is funding an initiative that will bring together a team of researchers from Northeastern to examine how firearms are illegally trafficked on the company’s platforms, using information from PayPal’s databases about firearm sales and types of payments.

The company is giving the research team, led by Northeastern professor Anthony Braga, access to its databases, with the goal of determining how firearms are bought and sold on the black market, and what types of payment methods are used to finance them. The team will include law enforcement groups, as well as policymakers, and researchers from the Center on Crime and Community Resilience at Northeastern (directed by Braga), the University of Chicago Crime Lab, and the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis.

“By undertaking this research, we hope to establish a new area of study that could have major policy implications: how illegally sourced guns are financed,” says Braga, whose research focuses on firearm-related violence and reducing illegal access to firearms.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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