The Science is proving that gun violence can be reduced by some restrictions on gun laws, but not by other gun laws. And With more than 40,000 gun deaths a year In AmericaThe stakes are unimaginable.
After declining for two decades, firearm violence began rising in 2014 And In 2020, the number of people who have gotten married has risen.
Mass shootings reached record highs in 2021 and 2022, according to the Gun Violence ArchiveSince 2014,, which keeps track of events where at least four people were shot.
In response, federal and state governments passed a raft of gun laws last year reflecting divergent views on how to address firearm violence while protecting gun owners’ rights.
Concealed A court decision to carry could result in more deaths
These laws, which remove law enforcement discretion in issuing concealed carry permits, became the law nationwide with the Supreme Court’s June decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen.
Our Findings suggest that Bruen This ruling could result in higher firearm homicides rates in states that have adopted shall-issue permits, such as the United States. New York And CaliforniaThis was the case until now. Lower than average rates of firearm suicide and homicide Other U.S. states are not comparable.
Four States on the other hand, made their Even more than last year, concealed carry laws are now permissive: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana And Ohio The concealed carry permit requirements were dropped, and the state joined a number of states that allow concealed carry without a permit.
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New Our last review has confirmed our earlier conclusion that stand-your ground laws, which eliminate the obligation to retreat from confrontations before using deadly force, are proving to be effective. Increase firearm violence. The The effects of these laws cannot be explained fully by more justifiable murders as might be expected. Rather, the laws appear to increase both justifiable and nonjustifiable firearm homicides.
In However, there are several laws that make it more difficult to commit suicides or homicides with firearms. There There is evidence to support the existence of child access prevention laws reduce firearm homicides And self-injuries among youths.
California’s Gun laws might be effective in reducing suicides and homicides
Also Last year Delaware The minimum age was increased All firearms must be purchased up to 21 New York The age of the population has increased Purchase semiautomatic rifles starting at 18-21 Minimum age of purchase laws – particularly those concerning handguns, which are involved in the majority of gun violence – have moderate evidence of effectiveness in reducing the number of young people who commit suicide by using firearms. Moderate This is our second highest evidence rating.
SimilarlyThere are laws that require background checks for all firearm transactions. This applies to all firearm transactions. moderate evidence of reducing total homicides. In 2022, Oregon And Vermont Legislation passed Strengthening their background checks To ensure that all firearm transfers are subject to background checks
Such laws exist in nine statesAlthough a permit is required to purchase firearms, there may be a similar waiting period.
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A 2022 federal law And new laws in California, New Jersey and New York Strengthen prohibitions Domestic abusers must be stopped You are prohibited from possessing or accessing firearms.
We found moderate evidence that guns laws related to domestic violence Homicides of intimate partners can be reducedThere is moderate evidence that laws that require domestic abusers to surrender firearms are possible, particularly when combined with laws expanding who should be barred from firearms access. Reduce intimate partner violence involving firearms.
In 2022: Many states prohibited or restricted sale or transfer Magazines with high capacityIncludes Delaware, Oregon, Rhode Island And WashingtonAnd New York It has expanded the ban it already had. Research Although evidence for these bans is less clear, it does suggest that they could be successful. reducing mass shootings and mass shooting fatalities.
Gun violence claims more than 100 lives each day
Firearm Death rates in the United States Continue They are now at their lowest point since the early 1990s.However, an average of 120 people are still being killed each day by guns.
Many Gun violence that is not fatal causes more deaths.
No single gun policy is likely to solve this problem, and many policy areas of interest last year – such as bans on ghost guns, bans on guns in playgrounds and polling places, and laws allowing teachers and other school personnel to carry firearms – have no strong evidence base yet in the scientific literature. These Although laws might reduce violence, or increase it in some cases, there is not enough scientific evidence to support their validity.
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NeverthelessFor many commonly-enforced laws, convincing scientific evidence is building. Where It is clear that science is sound and lawmakers would be wise in considering it when making decisions about how best to protect public safety and preserve civil liberties, such as the right to bear arms.
Andrew R. Morral She is a senior behavior scientist at the non-partisan, nonprofit RAND CorporationLeader of Gun Policy In America, a RAND initiative to understand the effects of gun policies; and director of the National Collaborative On Gun Violence Research. Rosanna Smart is an economist at RAND, affiliate faculty of the Pardee RAND Graduate School as co-director RAND Drug Policy Research Center.