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Prior DUI convictions among legal handgun purchasers associated with risk of later violent crimes

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Everett Enriquez
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Bottom Line: A study of legal handgun purchasers in California suggests convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) prior to a gun purchase may be associated with subsequent risk of arrest for violent crimes, including firearm-related ones.

The observational study included about 79,000 gun purchasers followed-up from their first gun purchase in 2001 through 2013.

Of the 1,495 purchasers with DUI convictions, 131 (8.8%) were subsequently arrested for violent crimes listed on the Crime Index (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) published by the FBI.

Among 65,700 purchasers with no prior criminal history, 1,188 (1.8%) were subsequently arrested for Crime Index-listed violent crimes.

Compared with gun purchasers who had no prior criminal history, gun purchasers with prior DUI convictions and no other criminal history were at increased risk of arrest for a Crime Index-listed violent crime, a firearm-related violent crime and any violent crime.

Limitations of the study include the exclusion of gun purchasers age 50 and older thus limiting the generalizability of the findings.

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Everett Enriquez
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