This paper investigates the association between legal access to firearms in the community through licensed dealers and homicides perpetrated by intimate partners (IPH). We conducted a series of multilevel negative binomial models to assess the relationship between the rate of county-level federally licensed firearm dealers and intimate partner homicides, by gender and age, controlling for leading macro-level correlates of IPH. The rate of county-level federally licensed firearm dealers is significantly associated with intimate partner homicides in urban counties, regardless of gender and age. Although data cannot discern that the rate of licensed firearm dealers is linked to greater legal firearm access, our findings focus attention on the role of community factors, including gun stores, as significant risk factors for violence. Policies to reduce legal options to purchase firearms, especially for those with prior domestic violence offenses, may help to decrease intimate partner homicide, but better data tracking is needed to help us understand how guns move from purchase into the hands of IPH perpetrators.
Keywords: Gun Stores; Homicide; Intimate partner violence.
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