Persuasive scientific evidence is accumulating for several commonly implemented laws. Where the science is strong, lawmakers would be wise to consider it when making decisions about how to protect public safety while preserving civil liberties, including the right to bear arms.
With new funding for gun violence prevention research, projects are beginning to produce findings. To capitalize on the new findings and help integrate the growing field of researchers working on gun violence prevention, RAND partnered with other research programs to organize the 2022 National Research Conference on Firearm Injury Prevention.
If the United States is serious about fixing the escalating problem of gun violence, the government needs to measure it. Research that is supported by new funding is overdue but will be hampered until federal and state firearm violence data systems improve.
Despite many remaining obstacles, the United States may soon have research that clarifies many of the unanswered questions about firearm violence and its prevention. Many critical research questions, neglected for decades, may now benefit from recent federal and private research funding that has supported a surge in research.
The Supreme Court's recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen threatens to render decades of scientific studies legally irrelevant. But there is still room for research to inform court decisions about firearm regulations.
The Supreme Court's decision may not actually narrow the policy gap between states sharply divided over their approach to regulating guns. Rather, its result may not look very different than what we have today—a patchwork of laws that often reflect political and policy demands of individual states.
RAND has developed an online educational toolkit to provide practical strategies and guidance on deterring, mitigating, and responding to mass attacks. Research highlights three top ways to mitigate and/or respond to mass attacks right now: through proactive prevention, relentless follow-up, and diligent preparation and training.
Are certain gun laws and regulations likely to improve or worsen public safety? At a time when many Americans are searching for solutions to the country's intolerably high rates of gun violence, social scientists can help provide answers.
A survey asked gun policy researchers, advocates, and congressional staffers who work on gun issues for their views on policies ranging from weapon bans to stand-your-ground laws. Regardless of where they stood, they were not so dissimilar in what they thought gun policies should be trying to accomplish.
In his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden rebuked Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, aimed to turn a page on the pandemic, and covered a wide range of domestic issues, including mental health care, prescription drug prices, and supporting veterans.
The roughly 400 op-eds and blog posts published by RAND researchers during the year reflected an enormous variety of expertise and perspectives, from remote education to election cybersecurity to the economic harms of racial disparities. Here are 10 highlights that landed in high-profile news outlets.
Recent reports suggest that Americans reacted to the pandemic by purchasing guns and ammunition in massive numbers. What does this mean for public safety? And how can policymakers ensure that this doesn't result in more injuries or deaths?
RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative aims to establish a shared set of facts about gun policies. Recently, researchers completed an update and expansion of their synthesis of all available scientific evidence on the effects of 18 classes of gun laws.
Americans have debated whether “stand your ground” laws or gun-free zones make us safer or less safe for decades. These are debates about factual matters that are, in principle, knowable. Without research on these and other topics, bad laws will inadvertently be passed or retained.
After three mass shootings in the span of a week left 53 wounded and 34 dead, pressure is mounting on Congress to respond with legislation to restrict access to guns and ammunition. But there is no need to wait for new laws. There are steps that can be taken immediately that evidence suggests could help prevent attacks or reduce the death toll from them.
The three most lethal domestic terrorist attacks since 9/11 were carried out with high-capacity semiautomatic weapons. None of the attackers were under 21 or were stoppable through criminal background checks. Restrictions on sales of semiautomatics would make it much harder for terrorists to obtain their most effective means of killing.
Both sides of the gun policy debate agree on what the objectives of any policy should be. But they disagree over which policies would best achieve those goals. Current evidence for or against most gun proposals is weak, contradictory, or nonexistent. Only research can show what does—and doesn't—work.
As debate continues to rage over the causes and prevention of gun violence, it's worth asking how science can help lawmakers and the public resolve longstanding disagreements that have stood in the way of solutions.
After shootings, there is inevitably public debate over gun safety, constitutional rights, police tactics, terrorism, race, and politics. But these discussions rarely focus on a common factor among the perpetrators: a history of violence against women.
Gun violence is an important public health problem that accounts for more than 33,000 deaths each year in the United States but in 1996, Congress stripped the CDC of funding for any research that could be associated with gun control advocacy. The lack of CDC funding has deterred researchers.
President Obama's task force on gun violence has raised the stakes in the policy debate on gun control and policy in the wake of the recent shootings in Colorado and Connecticut. Some of RAND's top researchers share what is, and what isn't, known about firearms and gun control.