Experts who favor more- Permissive Policies for gun use and access
Experts who favor more- Restrictive Policies for gun use and access
||Experts who favor more More-permissive Policies for gun use and access
||Experts who favor more More-restrictive Policies for gun use and access
This gun policy comparison tool estimates the effects of enacting or repealing gun laws at the state level and is based on the responses of 95 gun policy experts surveyed by RAND in summer 2016 (16 experts favoring more-permissive approaches to regulating guns and 79 experts favoring more-restrictive approaches; for more information on this sample, see the survey methodology). The tool generates median (as well as 25th- and 75th-percentile) estimates for the effects that members of each group of experts would expect from different combinations of laws on 12 outcomes in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Generating estimates for the combined effects of multiple laws requires a series of assumptions, which are described in the survey report.
State law information last updated on Jan 14, 2020.
Data used in this tool derive from multiple sources and reflect the following additional assumptions (also more fully detailed in the survey report):
- State laws
- Information on state laws, current as of March 2019, was drawn from the RAND State Firearm Law Database. We included Colorado as a state with a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, although its law prohibits the sale of only high-capacity magazines. For minimum age requirement policies, we included all states with a minimum age of 21 for possession of a handgun. We treated the policy for child-access prevention media campaigns as though it could be implemented in any state.
- Firearm suicides, firearm homicides, unintentional firearm deaths, and state populations
- State counts for these variables were calculated from 2015 mortality data provided through the CDC's WONDER data system (CDC, undated).
- Mass shootings
- The mass shooting outcome is the average number per year of individuals injured or killed with a firearm in all single events in which four or more people (including possibly the shooter) were shot in the same general location and time from 2013 to 2016, as determined by the Gun Violence Archive (undated-b). See the survey report for additional information on how these values were calculated.
- Violent crime and property crime
- State crime estimates for 2015 were drawn from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program's Crime in the United States tables (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2016a).
- Hunting licenses
- We used state hunting license numbers for 2015 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's historical hunting license data for 2004 through 2015 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2015). Hunting licenses serve in this model as a proxy for the outcome we surveyed experts about, which was "participation in hunting and sport shooting."
- Firearm sales
- We imputed 2015 firearm sales from national-level data on the number of firearms manufactured, imported, and exported (see Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 2017). See the survey report for additional information on how these values were calculated.
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, January 27, 2017. As of March 8, 2017: https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/docs/undefined/afmer-2015-final/download
- CDC—See Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WONDER data system, undated. As of March 8, 2017: https://wonder.cdc.gov
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States: 2015, Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 2016a. As of March 8, 2017: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015
- Gun Violence Archive, "Mass Shootings," website, undated-b. As of October 25, 2017: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Hunting License Report, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, May 5, 2015. As of April 15, 2017: https://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/LicenseInfo/HuntingLicCertHistory20042015.pdf
View the full project bibliography
RAND Corporation, "Gun Policy Outcome Explorer: An Expert Opinion Comparison Tool," webpage, Santa Monica, Calif., TL-286-RC, 2018. https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/outcomes-map.html