Gun Policy in America

A RAND Research Initiative

Latest update

New Evidence for the Effects of Gun Policies

A new edition of The Science of Gun Policy report updates our research review of scientific evidence for the effects of gun policies to include research published through February 2023. This fourth edition updates our findings and conclusions on the effects of 18 classes of gun policies on eight outcomes.

The major changes in our findings are described the the summary of additions and updates.

Establishing a Shared Set of Facts for America

RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative aims to establish a shared set of facts about the effects of gun laws to improve public discussions and support the development of fair and effective gun policies.

We have created dozens of resources to help build a foundation of shared facts about gun laws in the United States. Get started with a few highlights:

How Gun Policies Affect Outcomes: What the Evidence Shows

We reviewed thousands of studies to find all available evidence for how 18 different gun policies affect outcomes such as violent crime and mass shootings. Below we show which policies may make a difference, according to methodologically robust research. For example, evidence shows that waiting periods may decrease (blue lines) suicide rates and that concealed-carry laws may increase (orange lines) violent crime. The thicker the line, the stronger the evidence.

Click on a policy, outcome, or connecting line to learn more.