Date Approved

5-13-2009

Embargo Period

3-18-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Criminal Justice

Department

Law & Justice Studies

College

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

First Advisor

Smith, Tony

Subject(s)

Gun control; Police--Attitudes

Disciplines

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory investigation was to measure what, if any, differences exist between law enforcement and non law enforcement personnel in their opinions towards gun control, as well as investigate the types of information that are recorded in police reports. Using a test population of police officers (n = 90) and students (n = 131), a self administered, anonymous survey was used to test the hypotheses that police officers are a) more likely to support gun control policies, b) more likely to view gun control policies as increasing community and police safety, c) more likely to view gun control policies as decreasing gun violence, and d) less likely to interpret the Second Amendment to mean an Individuals' right to bear arms. Using both bivariate and multivariate analysis, three of five hypotheses were confirmed when variables such as age, gender, and firearm ownership were controlled for. The findings concerning police reports show that important detailed information that is unavailable in national databases is contained within police reports. The implications of this research are discussed in detail.

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