Key Findings

The essays below summarize RAND's findings on what is and isn't known about the likely effects of gun policies.

  • Essay

    Gun Policy in America: An Overview

    Americans are often divided on how to improve gun policies. Our research suggests that, among gun policy experts, these divisions are not primarily due to disagreements about what policies should achieve. Instead, the experts disagree on what the real effects of gun policies will be. This essay summarizes what is known and where new information could help build consensus about how to improve U.S. gun policies.

  • Essay

    What Science Tells Us About the Effects of Gun Policies

    To create fair and effective gun policies, we need to understand how they affect outcomes of concern to a range of stakeholders, including gun owners, communities struggling to contain crime, the gun industry, and those concerned with preventing suicide, among others. In this essay, we describe how RAND researchers conducted a large-scale, critical review of available studies and summarized the findings.

  • Content

    In Search of Common Ground: Expert Judgements on Gun Policy Effects

    Different communities of gun policy experts have sharply divided views on many gun policies. But are there policies for which these differences are less stark, and might such findings reveal combinations of policies that experts of every stripe could agree on?

  • Essay

    U.S. Gun Policy in a Global Context

    Some of the most compelling evidence for a causal connection between gun prevalence and suicide or homicide rates comes from the experiences of three countries—Australia, Switzerland, and Israel—where changes in law or policy may have led to marked shifts in gun ownership rates. This essay summarizes the evidence from these countries.

  • Essay

    New Approaches to Understanding the Effects of Gun Policies

    As part of the Gun Policy in America initiative, we developed resources that help researchers overcome common problems that we found with existing studies, as well as support improved analyses and understanding of gun policies. Read more about these resources.

  • Content

    Improving Gun Policy Science

    The RAND Gun Policy in America project reviewed challenges to the scientific study of gun policies and recommended ways to improve this body of research.