Evidence About Effects of Gun Policies Grows and Supports Laws Intended to Restrict Child Access to Guns
Jan 10, 2023
This report, now in its third edition, synthesizes available scientific evidence for the effects of various firearm policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, suicides, the gun industry, defensive gun use, and other outcomes. The authors highlight policies whose effects are more rigorously and reliably demonstrated by current research, as well as areas where better information could contribute to establishing fair and effective gun policies.
Does not incude Appendix B.
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In this report, part of the RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative, researchers seek objective information about what scientific literature reveals about the likely effects of various gun laws. In the third edition of this report, the authors incorporate more-recent research in their synthesis of the available scientific data regarding the effects of 18 state firearm policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, suicides, the gun industry, defensive gun use, 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 in which more and better information could make important contributions to establishing fair and effective gun policies.
Note: This report was updated in February 2023 to revise the federal definition of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and the description of domestic violence restraining orders. The report was updated in April 2023 to correct the strength of evidence table to indicate limited evidence that waiting periods decrease total suicides.
Introduction and Methods
Evidence for the Effects of Policies Regulating Who May Legally Own, Purchase, or Possess Firearms
Minimum Age Requirements
Prohibitions Associated with Mental Illness
Prohibitions Associated with Domestic Violence
Surrender of Firearms by Prohibited Possessors
Extreme Risk Protection Orders
Evidence for the Effects of Policies Regulating Firearm Sales and Transfers
Licensing and Permitting Requirements
Firearm Safety Training Requirements
Lost or Stolen Firearm Reporting Requirements
Firearm Sales Reporting, Recording, and Registration Requirements
Bans on the Sale of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines
Bans on Low-Quality Handguns
Evidence for the Effects of Policies Regulating the Legal Use, Storage, or Carrying of Firearms
Child-Access Prevention Laws
Laws Allowing Armed Staff in K–12 Schools
Summary of Findings and Recommendations
Summary and Conclusions
Changes from the Second Edition of This Report