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Briefing Date:12/15/2004
Topic:Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
National Research Council
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Committee on Law and Justice
Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms

*****

Congressional Briefing
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
HC-7, The Capitol Bldg. -- 1:00 p.m.

on

Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review

by

Charles Wellford, Chair, Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms, National Research Council and Professor, Criminal Justice, University of Maryland;

Karen Norberg, Member, Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms, National Research Council and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Boston University;

Peter Reuter, Member, Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms, National Research Council and Professor, School of Public Policy and Dept. of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland; and

Joel Waldfogel, Member, Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms, National Research Council and Joel S. Ehrenkranz Family Professor, Department of Business and Public Policy, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

In this new report from the National Academies, the Committee on Improving Firearms Research Information and Data was broadly charged with providing an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the existing social science data and research on firearms. While there is a large body of empirical research on firearms and violence, there is little consensus on even the basic facts on the important policy issues addressed in this literature. The Committee’s report addresses what current research can and cannot tell us about the role of firearms in violence. The report does not address specific firearms policies such as the issue of gun control. Rather, its recommendations address how to improve the empirical foundation for future discussions about firearms policy.

This briefing was for members of Congress and congressional staff only. The report was publicly released on December 16, 2004 and can be found, in its entirety, on the Web site of the National Academies Press.

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