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Gun Density, Gun Type, and the Dallas Homicide Rate, 1980-1992

Version
v0
Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, and event/transaction data
Creator
  • Koper, Christopher S. (Crime Control Institute)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2001-05-09
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Language
English
Free Keywords
assault weapons; crime reporting; firearms; gun ownership; gun use; handguns; mortality rates; police records
Description
  • Abstract

    This study examined the relationships among trends in deadly gun violence, overall gun availability, and the availability of more lethal types of guns. Using firearms confiscated by the Dallas, Texas, police department from 1980 to 1992 as indicators of the types of guns circulating among criminal/high-risk groups, the project examined changes over time in Dallas' street gun arsenal and assessed the impact these changes had upon gun violence mortality in Dallas. The focus of the project was on the characteristics of the guns rather than their numbers. All confiscated firearms were analyzed and characterized according to basic weapon type and caliber groupings. Dates of confiscation were missing from the majority of the pre-1988 records, but by aggregating the gun data into bimonthly (Part 1) and quarterly (Part 2) time series databases, it was possible to estimate the bimonthly and quarterly periods of confiscation for most of the 1980-1992 records. Records that could not be assigned to bimonthly or quarterly periods were dropped. Confiscated firearms were grouped into basic categories based on stopping power (i.e., wounding potential), rate of fire, and ammunition capacity. The following measures were created for each bimonthly and quarterly period: (1) weapons with high stopping power (large guns), (2) semiautomatic weaponry (semis), (3) weapons combining high stopping power and a semiautomatic firing mechanism (large semis), (4) handguns with high stopping power (large handguns), (5) semiautomatic handguns (semi handguns), and (6) handguns combining high stopping power and semiautomatic firing (large semi handguns). Several violence measures were obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports Supplemental Homicide Reports and Return A (or Offenses Known and Clearances by Arrest) data files (see UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING PROGRAM DATA [UNITED STATES]: 1975-1997 [ICPSR 9028]). These measures were also aggregated at bimonthly and quarterly levels. Data from the Dallas Police Department master gun property file include total handguns, total semiautomatic handguns, total large-caliber handguns, total large-caliber semiautomatic handguns, total shotguns, total semiautomatic shotguns, total rifles, total semiautomatic rifles, and total counts and total semiautomatic counts for various calibers of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Data that were aggregated using the FBI data include total homicides, gun homicides, total robberies, gun robberies, and gun aggravated assaults. The data file also includes the year and the bimonthly or quarterly period counter.
  • Abstract

    Social scientists have rarely examined consequences stemming from the availability and use of differentially lethal guns, despite empirical and theoretical grounds for believing that some guns are more lethal than others. However, a number of recent studies have linked increases in homicides to the growing use of semiautomatic and/or high-powered firearms by criminals. These studies imply that gun violence is becoming more deadly due to the substitution of more lethal firearms for less lethal firearms. Using data from Dallas, Texas, for the period 1980-1992, this study examined the relationships among trends in deadly gun violence, overall gun availability, and the availability of more lethal types of guns. Using firearms confiscated by police as indicators of the types of guns circulating among criminal/high-risk groups, the project examined changes over time in Dallas's street gun arsenal and assessed the impact these changes had upon gun violence mortality in Dallas. The project also examined whether trends in the use of different types of guns predicted gun homicides better than a more traditional measure of overall gun density.
  • Abstract

    This study was based on information regarding approximately 58,000 guns confiscated by Dallas police from 1980 through 1992. The data include guns seized in association with arrests or other incidents as well as guns that were found or voluntarily turned in by citizens. The focus of the project was on the characteristics of the guns rather than their numbers. All confiscated firearms were analyzed and characterized according to basic weapon type and caliber groupings. Dates of confiscation were missing from the majority of the pre-1988 records, but by aggregating the gun data into bimonthly (Part 1) and quarterly (Part 2) time-series databases, it was possible to estimate the bimonthly and quarterly periods of confiscation for most of the 1980-1992 records. Records that could not be assigned to bimonthly or quarterly periods were dropped. Confiscated firearms were grouped into basic categories based on stopping power (i.e., wounding potential), rate of fire, and ammunition capacity. The following measures were created for each bimonthly and quarterly period: (1) weapons with high stopping power (large guns), (2) semiautomatic weaponry (semis), (3) weapons combining high stopping power and a semiautomatic firing mechanism (large semis), (4) handguns with high stopping power (large handguns), (5) semiautomatic handguns (semi handguns), and (6) handguns combining high stopping power and semiautomatic firing (large semi handguns). Several violence measures were obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports Supplemental Homicide Reports and Return A (or Offenses Known and Clearances by Arrest) data files (see UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING PROGRAM DATA [UNITED STATES]: 1975-1997 [ICPSR 9028]). These measures were also aggregated at bimonthly and quarterly levels. An added advantage to using the bimonthly and quarterly time points was that they provide robust gun measures that are less sensitive to random events that could conceivably distort the gun measures (such as drug busts, which might produce large caches of weapons).
  • Abstract

    Data from the Dallas, Texas, police department master gun property file include total handguns, total semiautomatic handguns, total large-caliber handguns, total large-caliber semiautomatic handguns, total shotguns, total semiautomatic shotguns, total rifles, total semiautomatic rifles, and total counts and total semiautomatic counts for various calibers of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Data aggregated using the FBI data include total homicides, gun homicides, total robberies, gun robberies, and gun aggravated assaults. The data file also includes the year and the bimonthly or quarterly period counter.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: None.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: Not applicable.
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Bimonthly Data
    • DS2: Quarterly Data
Temporal Coverage
  • 1980 / 1992
    Time period: 1980--1992
  • Collection date: 1994
Geographic Coverage
  • Dallas
  • Texas
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All guns confiscated by Dallas police from 1980 through 1992.
Collection Mode
  • (1) Users are encouraged to obtain a copy of the Final Report for detailed information on the generation of these data and the project's time-series analysis. (2) The user guide and the codebook are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

Note
2006-03-30 File CB3145.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (94-IJ-CX-0038).
Availability
Delivery
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (help@icpsr.umich.edu).
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3145 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Relations
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR03145.v1
Publications
  • Graham, Matt. The Driving Force Behind Gun Crimes: A Time Series Analysis of the Impact of Gun Type and Gun Density. Thesis, University of Central Florida. 2007.
    • ID: http://etd.fcla.edu/CF/CFE0001564/Graham_Matt_C_200705.Mast.pdf.pdf (URL)
  • Koper, Christopher S.. Gun Density Versus Gun Type: Did the Availability of More Guns or More Lethal Guns Drive Up the Dallas Homicide Rate 1980-1992? Final Report. NCJ 187106, Philadelphia, PA: Crime Control Institute [producer], National Institute of Justice [distributor]. 1997.
    • ID: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/187106.pdf (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Koper, Christopher S. (2001): Gun Density, Gun Type, and the Dallas Homicide Rate, 1980-1992. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03145