U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Kansas City Gun Experiment, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
11 pages
Publication Series
To learn whether vigorous enforcement of existing gun control laws could reduce gun-related crime, NIJ sponsored an evaluation of the Kansas City Police Department's Weed and Seed program and learned that more than two gun crimes were prevented for every gun seized in one violent Kansas City neighborhood.
For 29 weeks from July 7, 1992 to January 27, 1993, police patrols were increased in locations identified by computer analysis as having large amounts of gun crime in the target area. Assigned officers focused exclusively on gun detection through proactive, directed patrol and were not required to answer calls for services. A comparison of the 29 weeks before the program began and the 29 weeks while the program was active revealed a 65 percent increase in the guns seized and that gun crimes declined 49 percent. Traffic stops were the most productive means of finding illegal guns, producing an average of 1 gun discovered for every 28 stops. One gun was seized for each 84 officer-hours. Two-thirds of the persons arrested for gun carrying were not residents of the target area. Finally, gun crimes did not increase significantly in any of the surrounding seven patrol beats. Results revealed that such a program can be successful and that directed patrols were about three times more cost-effective in removing guns from the street than were routine police activity. A citywide version of this program was implemented in Indianapolis in October 1994.

Date Published: January 1, 1995