What is a supply-side approach?
Most efforts to prevent gun violence focus on the perpetrators of violence with guns. These demand-side efforts, whether public policy, criminal justice reform, or social service programs, are necessary to save lives. But, alone, they are not sufficient to end America’s epidemic of gun violence, and the burden of ending gun violence should not rest solely on the communities most impacted.
A comprehensive approach to ending gun violence also addresses the supply-side, specifically the gun industry and dealers who are contributing to and profiting from gun violence.
A supply-side approach is focused on the supply of crime guns and encourages elected officials, community members, and law enforcement to address not just the shooter, but also the source or supplier of the gun. By using a behavior change approach that holds gun dealers accountable, in addition to existing intervention and prevention efforts, local communities could experience a reduction in homicide and shooting rates in even the most impacted neighborhoods. In other words, a supply-side strategy is a critical aspect of a comprehensive public health approach to reducing gun violence.
There are various supply-side strategies that officials can explore and implement in their own states or localities; however, a comprehensive supply-side approach implements strategies aimed at changing social norms and behaviors at all levels of the population.