In one of the first studies to try to map a gun market using network science, researchers used the novel scientific approach to understand how close offenders are to guns in the city of Chicago.
Recreating Chicago’s co-offending network of approximately 188,000 people, the researchers used data on firearms recovered by the Chicago Police Department to locate who in the network possessed those guns.
“How easy is it for them to get a gun?”
Papachristos said the networked approach in the study suggests that one could map the risk of exposure to guns in a network and potentially use that as strategic points of intervention.
“It could provide a roadmap for understanding how illegal guns ‘move’ through a network,” he said.