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UNODA Occasional Papers No.25: The Gun-Free Zone - A Tool to Prevent and Reduce Armed Violence, December 2013

image of UNODA Occasional Papers No.25: The Gun-Free Zone - A Tool to Prevent and Reduce Armed Violence, December 2013

UNODA Occasional Papers is a series of ad hoc publications that deal with topical issues in the field of arms limitation, disarmament and international security and are intended primarily for those concerned with these matters in Government, civil society and in the academic community. This paper brings together existing information and experiences from practitioners and policy makers and analyzes the impact of Gun-Free Zones (GFZs) in order to determine when and where GFZs can be a valuable measure to prevent and reduce armed violence. It gives national governments, local authorities and international development and peacebuilding agencies and organizations a better understanding of GFZ in order to incorporate, where applicable, this tool into their strategies.

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Measuring impact

A study on GFZs in Calí and Bogotá, Colombia, showed that the restrictions on gun carrying on holidays, weekends after paydays and election days significantly decreased homicide rates. Homicide rates were 14 per cent lower in Calí and 13 per cent lower in Bogotá during GFZ days than on non-GFZ days. The study also found that the effect was not confined to killings with firearms. Homicides not committed with firearms (close to 20 per cent of the total number of homicides in both cities) were also reduced on GFZ days. This may be a result of the increased police activity and visibility on GFZ days.

English

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