Worth the risk? Gun carrying and perceived criminal justice responses in Baltimore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Policing strategies to deter illegal gun carrying by high-risk people are associated with reductions in gun violence. Many factors influence decisions to use or carry a gun in public, but it is unclear whether perceptions of the criminal justice system's response influence those decisions. Methods We used a 2016 cross-sectional survey of criminal justice system-involved men in Baltimore City (n=195) to assess their recent frequency of gun carrying and perceptions of criminal justice system responses. Results Forty-two per cent of respondents reported carrying a gun at least once; 15% carried a gun at least monthly. Those who carried at least monthly were significantly less likely than others to report that it was likely they would be caught carrying a gun on the street (31% vs 53%). Conclusions Challenges with holding accountable those who illegally possess or carry guns in public may influence behaviours and perceptions of the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-282
Number of pages3
JournalInjury Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • behaviour
  • firearm
  • surveys
  • urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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