Income support policies and firearm violence prevention: A scoping review

Prev Med. 2022 Dec;165(Pt A):107133. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.107133. Epub 2022 Jul 5.


Firearm violence is a major threat to global public health and safety. Several individual, family, peer, community, and societal risk and protective factors determine or modify the risk of firearm violence. Specifically, there is a strong relationship between poverty, income inequality, and firearm violence; as such, interventions that influence upstream determinants of health by providing income support may hold much promise in affecting multiple domains of risk that are on the causal pathway to firearm violence. Guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews, we conducted a scoping review to examine the current state of evidence on the relationship between income support policies and risk of firearm violence. We searched 8 databases related to health and social sciences from inception through March 30, 2022, and placed no time, language, setting, or other publication restrictions on our search, as long as the study was quantitative or mixed-methods and addressed firearm violence specifically, rather than violence more broadly, as an outcome in relation to income support policies. We found 4 studies; of those, 3 were conducted in the United States and 1 in Brazil. All 4 found associations of policy-relevant magnitude between income support policies and reductions in risk of inter-personal firearm violence. We propose future opportunities to enhance the substantive scope and methodologic rigor of this field of research and inform policy and practice for greater impact.

Keywords: Firearms; Guns; Income; Policy; Poverty; Public; Social; Violence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Firearms*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Policy
  • United States
  • Violence / prevention & control
  • Wounds, Gunshot*