Guns and Trafficking in Crack-Cocaine and Other Drug Markets

Richard B. Felson, Luke Bonkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This article examines the relationship between gun possession and the nature of an offender's involvement in drug markets. The analyses are based on data obtained from drug offenders who participated in the 1997 Survey of Inmates of State and Federal Correctional Facilities. The authors find that participants in crack-cocaine markets are more likely to possess guns than participants in powdered-cocaine, opiate, and marijuana markets, particularly if they are street-level crack dealers. However, participants in barbiturates and amphetamine markets also have high rates of gun possession. The authors also find relatively high levels of gun possession among traffickers who handle stashes of moderately large market value, who have central roles in the trade, and who are members of drug organizations. Finally, offenders who are young, female, African American, and from lower economic status are more likely to traffic in crack cocaine than in other drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-343
Number of pages25
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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