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Am J Prev Med. 2001 May;20(4):251-7.

State gun control advocacy tactics and resources.

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Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



Enacting state laws to regulate firearm use, availability, or manufacture is one plausible strategy for preventing firearm-related injuries. Organizations that use a wide range of advocacy tactics may be successful in promoting gun control policies.


To describe tactics commonly used by groups that advocate for state gun control laws and to assess whether financial resources were associated with groups' use of these advocacy tactics.


We identified 679 local and state organizations potentially active on state-level gun control issues in 1998 and mailed a 153-item questionnaire to the groups' leaders.


Organizations' use of 35 gun control advocacy tactics.


Seventy-nine percent (n=538) of groups responded to our survey, and, of those eligible, eighty-one percent (n=207) completed questionnaires. Organizations commonly used public education, media, and legislative lobbying tactics, and fewer engaged in electioneering and litigation. Except for lobbying, no associations were found between groups' use of advocacy tactics and their level of financial resources.


Organizations advocating for state gun control laws have a varied tactical repertoire, with fewer using electioneering and litigation than other approaches. Financial resources do not appear to be the determining factor in the advocacy methods employed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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