Guns in American Society
An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law, 3rd Edition
by Jaclyn Schildkraut and Gregg Lee Carter, Editors
December 2022, 1091pp, 7x10
3 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6773-6
$335, £258, 292€, A459
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6774-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

More than 36,000 lives in the United States are lost to gun-related homicides, suicides, and accidents annually, and an additional 100,000 Americans are injured by gunfire each year.

The revised third edition of the landmark Guns in American Society provides an authoritative and objective survey of the history and current state of all gun-related issues and areas of debate in the United States.

Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law is a comprehensive and evenhanded three-volume reference resource for understanding all of the political, legal, and cultural factors that have swirled around gun rights and gun control in America, past and present.

The encyclopedia draws on a vast array of research in criminology, history, law, medicine, politics, and social science. It covers all aspects of the issue: gun violence, including mass shootings in schools and other public spaces; gun control arguments and organizations; gun rights arguments and organizations; the firearms industry; firearms regulation, legislation, and court decisions; gun subcultures (for example, hunters and collectors); leading opinion-shapers on both sides of the gun debate; technological innovations in firearm manufacturing; various types of firearms, from handguns to assault weapons; and evolving public attitudes toward guns. Many of these entries place the topics in both historical and cross-cultural perspective.


  • Serves as the most comprehensive single source on the gun issue published to date, drawing on a vast array of research in criminology, history, law, medicine, politics, and social science in more than 400 entries
  • Places topics in historical, political, and cross-cultural perspective
  • Carefully cross-references and appends entries with suggested readings, representing the best of current scholarship
  • Provides a chronology of important events and developments related to guns in American society
  • Include appendices on federal gun laws, state gun laws, and organizations involved in gun debate (on both sides)
Jaclyn Schildkraut, PhD (Texas State University), is associate professor of criminal justice at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego. She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on the topic of school and mass shootings and has authored or edited three books on the subject, including Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities ; Mass Shootings in America: Understanding the Debates, Causes, and Responses ; and Columbine, 20 Years Later and Beyond: Lessons from Tragedy . She also has published more than three dozen scholarly articles on a host of topics related to these events.

Gregg Lee Carter, PhD (Columbia University), is professor of sociology in the department of history and social sciences at Bryant University. He has authored or edited 26 books, including The Gun Control Movement ; Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law; and Gun Control in the United States: A Reference Handbook (first and second editions). He is a recipient of the American Sociological Association's Outstanding Contributions to Instruction Award.
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