Firearm mortality is the leading cause of death for young African American males, however, few studies have focused on racial/ethnic minority populations and firearm violence. The National Black Caucus of State Legislators advocates for legislation that promotes the health of African Americans. Thus, the purpose of this study was to collect baseline data on African American legislators’ perceptions regarding firearm violence in the African American community. A cross-sectional study of African American legislators (n = 612) was conducted to investigate the research questions. Of the 612 questionnaires mailed, 12 were not deliverable, and 170 were returned (28 %). Utilizing a three wave mailing process, African American legislators were invited to participate in the study. The majority (88 %) of respondents perceived firearm violence to be very serious among African Americans. Few (10 %) legislators perceived that addressing legislative issues would be an effective strategy in reducing firearm violence among African Americans. The majority (72 %) of legislators perceived the most effective strategy to reducing firearm violence in the African American community should focus on addressing societal issues (e.g. crime and poverty). After adjusting for the number of perceived barriers, the number of perceived benefits was a significant predictor of legislators’ perceived effectiveness of firearm violence prevention legislation for 8 of the 24 potential firearm violence prevention legislative bills.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health