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Handgun Acquisitions in California After Two Mass Shootings.
Ann Intern Med 2017; 166(10):698-706AIM

Abstract

Background

Mass shootings are common in the United States. They are the most visible form of firearm violence. Their effect on personal decisions to purchase firearms is not well-understood.

Objective

To determine changes in handgun acquisition patterns after the mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 and San Bernardino, California, in 2015.

Design

Time-series analysis using seasonal autoregressive integrated moving-average (SARIMA) models.

Setting

California.

Population

Adults who acquired handguns between 2007 and 2016.

Measurements

Excess handgun acquisitions (defined as the difference between actual and expected acquisitions) in the 6-week and 12-week periods after each shooting, overall and within subgroups of acquirers.

Results

In the 6 weeks after the Newtown and San Bernardino shootings, there were 25 705 (95% prediction interval, 17 411 to 32 788) and 27 413 (prediction interval, 15 188 to 37 734) excess acquisitions, respectively, representing increases of 53% (95% CI, 30% to 80%) and 41% (CI, 19% to 68%) over expected volume. Large increases in acquisitions occurred among white and Hispanic persons, but not among black persons, and among persons with no record of having previously acquired a handgun. After the San Bernardino shootings, acquisition rates increased by 85% among residents of that city and adjacent neighborhoods, compared with 35% elsewhere in California.

Limitations

The data relate to handguns in 1 state. The statistical analysis cannot establish causality.

Conclusion

Large increases in handgun acquisitions occurred after these 2 mass shootings. The spikes were short-lived and accounted for less than 10% of annual handgun acquisitions statewide. Further research should examine whether repeated shocks of this kind lead to substantial increases in the prevalence of firearm ownership.

Primary Funding Source

None.

Authors+Show Affiliations

From Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Law School, Stanford, and School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, and Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.From Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Law School, Stanford, and School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, and Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.From Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Law School, Stanford, and School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, and Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.From Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Law School, Stanford, and School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, and Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.From Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Law School, Stanford, and School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, and Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28462425

Citation

Studdert, David M., et al. "Handgun Acquisitions in California After Two Mass Shootings." Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 166, no. 10, 2017, pp. 698-706.
Studdert DM, Zhang Y, Rodden JA, et al. Handgun Acquisitions in California After Two Mass Shootings. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(10):698-706.
Studdert, D. M., Zhang, Y., Rodden, J. A., Hyndman, R. J., & Wintemute, G. J. (2017). Handgun Acquisitions in California After Two Mass Shootings. Annals of Internal Medicine, 166(10), pp. 698-706. doi:10.7326/M16-1574.
Studdert DM, et al. Handgun Acquisitions in California After Two Mass Shootings. Ann Intern Med. 2017 May 16;166(10):698-706. PubMed PMID: 28462425.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Handgun Acquisitions in California After Two Mass Shootings. AU - Studdert,David M, AU - Zhang,Yifan, AU - Rodden,Jonathan A, AU - Hyndman,Rob J, AU - Wintemute,Garen J, Y1 - 2017/05/02/ PY - 2017/5/4/pubmed PY - 2017/6/1/medline PY - 2017/5/3/entrez SP - 698 EP - 706 JF - Annals of internal medicine JO - Ann. Intern. Med. VL - 166 IS - 10 N2 - Background: Mass shootings are common in the United States. They are the most visible form of firearm violence. Their effect on personal decisions to purchase firearms is not well-understood. Objective: To determine changes in handgun acquisition patterns after the mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 and San Bernardino, California, in 2015. Design: Time-series analysis using seasonal autoregressive integrated moving-average (SARIMA) models. Setting: California. Population: Adults who acquired handguns between 2007 and 2016. Measurements: Excess handgun acquisitions (defined as the difference between actual and expected acquisitions) in the 6-week and 12-week periods after each shooting, overall and within subgroups of acquirers. Results: In the 6 weeks after the Newtown and San Bernardino shootings, there were 25 705 (95% prediction interval, 17 411 to 32 788) and 27 413 (prediction interval, 15 188 to 37 734) excess acquisitions, respectively, representing increases of 53% (95% CI, 30% to 80%) and 41% (CI, 19% to 68%) over expected volume. Large increases in acquisitions occurred among white and Hispanic persons, but not among black persons, and among persons with no record of having previously acquired a handgun. After the San Bernardino shootings, acquisition rates increased by 85% among residents of that city and adjacent neighborhoods, compared with 35% elsewhere in California. Limitations: The data relate to handguns in 1 state. The statistical analysis cannot establish causality. Conclusion: Large increases in handgun acquisitions occurred after these 2 mass shootings. The spikes were short-lived and accounted for less than 10% of annual handgun acquisitions statewide. Further research should examine whether repeated shocks of this kind lead to substantial increases in the prevalence of firearm ownership. Primary Funding Source: None. SN - 1539-3704 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28462425/Handgun_Acquisitions_in_California_After_Two_Mass_Shootings_ L2 - https://www.annals.org/article.aspx?doi=10.7326/M16-1574 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -