Can DUI convictions help keep guns out of the hands of people prone to violence?

Hands behind back in handcuffs
Being arrested and convicted of driving under the influence may be a red flag that someone is at greater risk of committing a violent crime, including one involving a gun, new research suggests.(File photo)

By Melissa Healy for the Los Angeles Times on October, 2, 2019

"Drinking and driving is already a deadly cocktail. New research finds that adding gun ownership to the mix heightens the risk for violent outcomes.

A study that set out to track about 80,000 legal gun purchasers in California found that handgun buyers with a DUI on their record were more likely to go on to be arrested for a violent crime. That was the case even if driving under the influence of alcohol was the only criminal conviction in his or her past.

In the roughly dozen years after purchasing a gun in 2001, Californians who had already been convicted of drunk driving were 2.5 times more likely than those with no DUI convictions to be arrested on suspicion of murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault, according to the study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. If the range of violent offenses was broadened slightly to include crimes like stalking, harassment or child neglect, handgun buyers with a prior DUI were more than three times likelier than those with no DUI conviction to be arrested."

Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times

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