Effective gun policies in the United States must balance the constitutional right to bear arms and public interest in gun ownership with concerns about public health and safety. However, current efforts to craft legislation related to guns are hampered by a lack of reliable information about the effects of such policies.
To help address this problem, RAND launched the Gun Policy in America initiative. The goal of the project was to create resources where policymakers and the general public can access unbiased information that facilitates the development of fair and effective firearm policies.
Building on a long history of providing policymakers with objective, independent analysis of complex topics, RAND developed policy analysis tools and research syntheses, grounded in science, aimed at clarifying the effects of current and proposed firearms measures. The tools and syntheses document the effects of different firearm policies on gun violence, gun rights, and hunting and recreational gun use.
This initiative focused solely on the empirical effects of policies, rather than evaluating the merits of different social values that may sometimes drive policy disagreements.
The goal of the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative is to create resources where policymakers, researchers, and the general public can access unbiased information that facilitates the development of fair and effective gun policies.
For this project, RAND assembled a large, multidisciplinary research team consisting of psychologists, economists, epidemiologists, criminologists, statisticians, legal experts, and mathematicians. In addition, the project team, led by Andrew Morral and Rosanna Smart, consulted with leading researchers, gun policy analysts, and government and law enforcement experts.
Funding for this initiative was originally provided by gifts from RAND supporters and income from operations. Since June 2018, the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative has been supported by a grant from Arnold Ventures.
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For more information on the Gun Policy in America research initiative, contact Andrew Morral, Senior Behavioral Scientist.
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