Honors Theses

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Intelligence and Security Studies

First Advisor

David Bath

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The initial purpose of this study was to determine which counties contributed the most to the firearms trafficking route between Mississippi and Chicago, Illinois, and to understand which sociodemographic features may differentiate those counties from their lesser-trafficking counterparts. In order to address any firearms trafficking route, law enforcement agencies must understand the underlying causes and enabling factors. Initial studies of Mississippi counties showed trends of median household income, poverty, and racial disparities. These trends were compared with high-trafficking counties in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin in order to see if sociodemographic factors associated with firearms trafficking are state-specific or may be reflected across the country. While population size did not appear to be connected to firearms trafficking in Mississippi, the three northern states' counties of interest appeared to be located around cities, so population was considered for each of the four states. The results of this study identify high-trafficking counties of interest in Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin and indicate that (a) high poverty rates appear to be associated with firearms trafficking in each of the four states (b) Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin counties of interest are centrally located around urban areas, (c) there appears to be a trend of high racial disparity with high firearms trafficking only in Mississippi; and (d) high median household income appears to be connected in Wisconsin, with low median household income likely connected in Mississippi, and no obvious trends in Illinois and Indiana.

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