This city-level study examines the association of federally licensed firearm dealers (FFLs) and measures of illegal firearm availability with the risk of intimate partner homicide. Annual data for a sample of 286 large cities in the United States were collected for the years 2010–2019, incorporating city-level information on the number of gun-perpetrated homicides, the rate of licensed firearm dealers, and guns reported lost or stolen. All data were compiled and analyzed in 2020. Negative binomial models were used to assess the relation of firearm availability and gun homicide by intimate partners, in comparison to gun homicide between non-intimates. Results indicate that a higher rate of licensed firearm dealers was associated with a higher risk of intimate partner homicide, although more pronounced in states with lower-than-average existing gun ownership. This association was robust to different analytical methods and alternate ways of capturing illegal guns. A supplementary analysis using unique data from The Trace further supports the argument that FFL presence is a risk factor for intimate partner firearm homicide specifically, but not necessarily firearm homicide characterized by other motives.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Firearm dealers
- Intimate partner violence