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Keeping Firearms Out of the Wrong Hands

Publication Date

April 2024


James H. Burch II, Stacey Clouse, Ph.D, Annelise M. Pietenpol, Ph.D


Across the nation, policymakers and law enforcement agencies have turned to different legal and policy approaches to address gun violence and the movement or “diversion” of firearms from the legal to the illegal market, where criminals and those who are prohibited by law from having firearms may obtain them. State laws mandating reporting of lost and stolen firearms are intended to address the issue of criminal access to firearms, yet very little is known about implementation best practices and challenges. This study, likely the first to assess implementation and design questions across the states, finds that changes are needed to realize much of the benefit these laws were intended to provide.

Research Design

Review of research

Research Methods

Interviews, Literature review, Focus groups

Recommended Citation

National Policing Institute. (2024). Keeping firearms out of the wrong hands—Addressing theft
and diversion through reporting of lost and stolen firearms.
Arlington, Virginia