U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Impact of Enhanced Prison Terms for Felonies Committed With Guns

NCJ Number
155105
Journal
Criminology Volume: 33 Issue: 2 Dated: (1995) Pages: 247-281
Author(s)
T B Marvell; C E Moody
Date Published
1995
Annotation
This article presents a compilation of State laws mandating minimum sentences or additions to sentences for crimes committed with guns, and an estimate of the laws' impact on State prison populations, prison admissions, UCR crime rates, and gun use in homicides, assaults and robberies.
Abstract
Legislation mandating minimum sentences or additions to sentences for crimes committed with guns is a frequent response to gun problems. For their research into the impact of such legislation, the authors used a multiple time series research design, with data for nearly all States over the past 16 to 24 years, such that for any State the remaining states operated as controls. Several small-scale studies have suggested that the laws might reduce some types of gun crime. The authors found that the laws produced such an impact in no more than a few States and that there is little evidence that the laws generally reduce crime or increase prison populations. Footnotes, tables, references, appendix