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Gun retailers take a hard line on illegal firearm sales, UC Davis survey finds
Date:3/11/2013

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) A scientific survey of more than 9,700 gun retailers in the U.S. has found that gun buyers frequently try to make illegal purchases and that gun retailers take a dim view of fellow sellers who engage in illegal activity regardless of whether they are actively breaking the law or simply looking the other way.

The survey, conducted in 2011 by Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, is believed to be the first scientific study of a large group of gun retailers to determine their attitudes on illegal gun sales such as "straw" or surrogate purchases, and undocumented purchases and other criminal activity among buyers and retailers.

The research appears online March 11 in the journal Injury Prevention and is a follow up to initial results Wintemute published in September 2012 in the Journal of Urban Health on the characteristics of federally licensed firearms dealers, pawnbrokers and their establishments.

"There is a continuing debate on the commerce of firearms: which ones should be sold and who they should be sold to. But no one has ever gotten the opinions of the people doing the selling," Wintemute said. "We wanted to collect detailed information about firearm retailers and get their sense of how often illegal activity occurs and what should be done about the problem."

Wintemute surveyed 9,720 dealers, pawnbrokers and gunsmiths, selecting participants who sold 50 or more firearms each year. The survey asked retailers how often they thought customers were trying to make straw purchases, or buying a gun for someone who is ineligible to own one. The survey also asked how often customers tried to purchase a gun without filling out appropriate forms or receiving a background check. Participants also were asked how often they had refused to make a sale or alerted other retailers about an attempted illegal purchase.


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Contact: Carole Gan
carole.gan@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9047
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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