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.