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Domestic Disputes Are More Likely to Turn Deadly in Cities Where Guns Are Easy to Obtain

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Gun enthusiasts visit a gun show where thousands of different weapons are displayed for sale on July 10th, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas.

As we recently reported at Pacific Standard, having a gun in the home increases the chances that a domestic violence dispute will turn lethal. New research reveals another circumstance that might exert the same effect: having a firearms dealer conveniently located nearby.

In a new study, Richard Stansfield and Daniel Semenza of Rutgers University–Camden report that, on average, urban counties with more federally licensed firearms dealers per person have higher rates of intimate-partner homicides.

“If there is greater access to legal guns, it could make it easier for someone to purchase a gun in the throes of an argument, before there is time to cool off,” Semenza said in announcing the findings. “We can’t definitively say that’s the dynamic here, but this study backs prior research indicating that greater access [is linked to] an increased risk.”

The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, used homicide data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with county-level data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms indicating the number of licensed dealers, importers, and pawn shops per 100,000 people.

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Thanks !

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