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National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Gun Density, Gun Type, and the Dallas Homicide Rate, 1980-1992 (ICPSR 3145) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study examined the relationships among trends in deadly gun violence, overall gun availability, and the availability of more lethal types of guns. Using firearms confiscated by the Dallas, Texas, police department from 1980 to 1992 as indicators of the types of guns circulating among criminal/high-risk groups, the project examined changes over time in Dallas' street gun arsenal and assessed the impact these changes had upon gun violence mortality in Dallas. The focus of the project was on the characteristics of the guns rather than their numbers. All confiscated firearms were analyzed and characterized according to basic weapon type and caliber groupings. Dates of confiscation were missing from the majority of the pre-1988 records, but by aggregating the gun data into bimonthly (Part 1) and quarterly (Part 2) time series databases, it was possible to estimate the bimonthly and quarterly periods of confiscation for most of the 1980-1992 records. Records that could not be assigned to bimonthly or quarterly periods were dropped. Confiscated firearms were grouped into basic categories based on stopping power (i.e., wounding potential), rate of fire, and ammunition capacity. The following measures were created for each bimonthly and quarterly period: (1) weapons with high stopping power (large guns), (2) semiautomatic weaponry (semis), (3) weapons combining high stopping power and a semiautomatic firing mechanism (large semis), (4) handguns with high stopping power (large handguns), (5) semiautomatic handguns (semi handguns), and (6) handguns combining high stopping power and semiautomatic firing (large semi handguns). Several violence measures were obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports Supplemental Homicide Reports and Return A (or Offenses Known and Clearances by Arrest) data files (see UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING PROGRAM DATA [UNITED STATES]: 1975-1997 [ICPSR 9028]). These measures were also aggregated at bimonthly and quarterly levels. Data from the Dallas Police Department master gun property file include total handguns, total semiautomatic handguns, total large-caliber handguns, total large-caliber semiautomatic handguns, total shotguns, total semiautomatic shotguns, total rifles, total semiautomatic rifles, and total counts and total semiautomatic counts for various calibers of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Data that were aggregated using the FBI data include total homicides, gun homicides, total robberies, gun robberies, and gun aggravated assaults. The data file also includes the year and the bimonthly or quarterly period counter.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Bimonthly Data - Download All Files (223 KB)
DS2:  Quarterly Data - Download All Files (194 KB)

Study Description

Citation

Koper, Christopher S. GUN DENSITY, GUN TYPE, AND THE DALLAS HOMICIDE RATE, 1980-1992. ICPSR version. Philadelphia, PA: Crime Control Institute [producer], 1998. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001. doi:10.3886/ICPSR03145.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (94-IJ-CX-0038)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   assault weapons, crime reporting, firearms, gun ownership, gun use, handguns, mortality rates, police records

Geographic Coverage:   Dallas, Texas, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1980--1992

Date of Collection:  

  • 1994

Unit of Observation:   Part 1: Bimonthly time period. Part 2: Quarterly time period.

Universe:   All guns confiscated by Dallas police from 1980 through 1992.

Data Types:   administrative records data, and event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) Users are encouraged to obtain a copy of the Final Report for detailed information on the generation of these data and the project's time-series analysis. (2) The user guide and the codebook are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Social scientists have rarely examined consequences stemming from the availability and use of differentially lethal guns, despite empirical and theoretical grounds for believing that some guns are more lethal than others. However, a number of recent studies have linked increases in homicides to the growing use of semiautomatic and/or high-powered firearms by criminals. These studies imply that gun violence is becoming more deadly due to the substitution of more lethal firearms for less lethal firearms. Using data from Dallas, Texas, for the period 1980-1992, this study examined the relationships among trends in deadly gun violence, overall gun availability, and the availability of more lethal types of guns. Using firearms confiscated by police as indicators of the types of guns circulating among criminal/high-risk groups, the project examined changes over time in Dallas's street gun arsenal and assessed the impact these changes had upon gun violence mortality in Dallas. The project also examined whether trends in the use of different types of guns predicted gun homicides better than a more traditional measure of overall gun density.

Study Design:   This study was based on information regarding approximately 58,000 guns confiscated by Dallas police from 1980 through 1992. The data include guns seized in association with arrests or other incidents as well as guns that were found or voluntarily turned in by citizens. The focus of the project was on the characteristics of the guns rather than their numbers. All confiscated firearms were analyzed and characterized according to basic weapon type and caliber groupings. Dates of confiscation were missing from the majority of the pre-1988 records, but by aggregating the gun data into bimonthly (Part 1) and quarterly (Part 2) time-series databases, it was possible to estimate the bimonthly and quarterly periods of confiscation for most of the 1980-1992 records. Records that could not be assigned to bimonthly or quarterly periods were dropped. Confiscated firearms were grouped into basic categories based on stopping power (i.e., wounding potential), rate of fire, and ammunition capacity. The following measures were created for each bimonthly and quarterly period: (1) weapons with high stopping power (large guns), (2) semiautomatic weaponry (semis), (3) weapons combining high stopping power and a semiautomatic firing mechanism (large semis), (4) handguns with high stopping power (large handguns), (5) semiautomatic handguns (semi handguns), and (6) handguns combining high stopping power and semiautomatic firing (large semi handguns). Several violence measures were obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports Supplemental Homicide Reports and Return A (or Offenses Known and Clearances by Arrest) data files (see UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING PROGRAM DATA [UNITED STATES]: 1975-1997 [ICPSR 9028]). These measures were also aggregated at bimonthly and quarterly levels. An added advantage to using the bimonthly and quarterly time points was that they provide robust gun measures that are less sensitive to random events that could conceivably distort the gun measures (such as drug busts, which might produce large caches of weapons).

Data Source:

(1) Master gun property file from the Property/Auto Pound Section of the Dallas, Texas, police department, (2) Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program data

Description of Variables:   Data from the Dallas, Texas, police department master gun property file include total handguns, total semiautomatic handguns, total large-caliber handguns, total large-caliber semiautomatic handguns, total shotguns, total semiautomatic shotguns, total rifles, total semiautomatic rifles, and total counts and total semiautomatic counts for various calibers of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Data aggregated using the FBI data include total homicides, gun homicides, total robberies, gun robberies, and gun aggravated assaults. The data file also includes the year and the bimonthly or quarterly period counter.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CB3145.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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