Revisiting the Gun Ownership and Violence Link

van Kesteren, John N.
January 2014
British Journal of Criminology;Jan2014, Vol. 54 Issue 1, p53
Academic Journal
The link between gun ownership victimization by violent crime remains one of the most contested issues in criminology. Some authors claim that high gun availability facilitates serious violence. Others claim that gun ownership prevents crime. This article revisits these issues using individual and aggregate data on gun ownership and victimization from the International Crime Victims Survey (ICVS). Analysis at country level shows that the level of handgun ownership is positively related to serious violence but not for less serious violent crimes. Multilevel analyses on the data from 26 developed countries show that owners of a handgun show increased risk for victimization by violent crime. High ownership levels, however, seem to diminish the victimization level for the less serious violent crimes for the non-owners.


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