Community safety and policing

Milwaukee, WI
United States

Safe & Sound

Examining the supply of guns and developing solutions to reduce gun access to combat gun violence in Milwaukee neighborhoods.

Gun violence is an issue of both racial justice and health equity. The continued influx of guns into racially segregated communities and the resulting violence in communities of color can be traced back to government agencies’ lack of oversight over primarily white gun dealers. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Brady Center) has taken a supply-side approach to gun violence to address this issue, seeking to understand how guns end up in communities and who is responsible for them. In partnership with Safe & Sound—a community organization dedicated to building safe and empowered neighborhoods—the Brady Center plans to examine how residents of the Amani and Harambee neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, perceive the local gun supply and accessibility of guns, as well as identify related issues for advocacy. 

The Brady Center piloted this community research project in the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee and will extend this effort to neighboring Amari. The Brady Center and Safe & Sound will interview youth and adult residents to measure perceptions of gun accessibility. They will compare community perception data with local crime gun trace data obtained from the Milwaukee Police Department with the goal of identifying gaps in public awareness, issues to target for community education and outreach, and ways to hold local gun suppliers accountable. 

The Brady Center and Safe & Sound will also work with neighborhood groups such as Amani United to engage residents, share research findings, and build awareness to support communities in creating unique advocacy strategies. By educating residents about the issue and potential solutions, both organizations can help empower communities to address local gun violence and hold dealers accountable when their government has not.