Apr 22, 2020
This report synthesizes the available scientific evidence on the effects of various firearm policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, the gun industry, participation in hunting and sport shooting, and other outcomes. Based on this synthesis, the authors highlight policies whose effects are better supported by evidence and areas where more and better information could contribute to establishing fair and effective gun policies.
A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States
Published Mar 2, 2018
Updated Aug. 16, 2018 to correct minor errata on pp. 296-297.
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The RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative is a unique attempt to systematically and transparently assess available scientific evidence on the real effects of firearm laws and policies. Good gun policies require consideration of many factors, including the law and constitutional rights, the interests of various stakeholder groups, and information about the likely effects of different laws or policies on a range of outcomes. This report seeks to provide the third — objective information about what the scientific literature examining gun policy can tell us about the likely effects of laws. The study synthesizes the available scientific data on the effects of various firearm policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, the gun industry, participation in hunting and sport shooting, and other outcomes.
By highlighting where scientific evidence is accumulating, the authors hope to build consensus around a shared set of facts that have been established through a transparent, nonpartisan, and impartial review process. In so doing, they also illuminate areas where more and better information could make important contributions to establishing fair and effective gun policies.