Firearms

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  • RAND Gun Policy in America logo

    Project

    Informing the Gun Policy Debate

    Mar 2, 2018

    RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative provides information on what scientific research can tell us about the effects of gun laws. Our goal is to establish a shared set of facts that will improve public discussions and support the development of fair and effective gun policies.

  • Disassembled handgun

    Report

    The Science of Gun Policy

    Mar 2, 2018

    What does the scientific evidence tell us about the effects of gun policies? Part of the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative, this report assesses the available evidence for the effects of commonly proposed gun laws on firearm deaths, violent crime, suicide, the gun industry, hunting and sport shooting, and other outcomes.

Explore Firearms

  • Content

    State Firearm Law Navigator

    Research on the effects of gun laws requires good data on when and where different types of laws have been implemented. The State Firearm Law Navigator shows which states since 1979 have enacted four types of laws: background checks, concealed-carry, stand-your-ground laws, and child-access prevention laws.

    Oct 10, 2019

  • Sacramento Capitol Building, California, USA

    Tool

    The RAND State Firearm Law Database

    As part of the Gun Policy in America initiative, RAND developed a longitudinal data set of state and District of Columbia firearm laws from 1979 to 2016 to support improved analysis and understanding of the effects of gun laws.

    Oct 10, 2019

  • Gun inside open safe, photo by Creatas/Getty Images

    Testimony

    Scientific Evidence on the Effects of State Gun Laws

    There is some rigorous research on the effects of different gun laws that could help inform Pennsylvania's policy decisions. But states have an important role to play to expand the base of available science. Pennsylvania might consider funding research to better understand its gun violence prevention efforts.

    Sep 25, 2019

  • A shadow of a hand holding a gun, photo by ugurhan/Getty Images

    Commentary

    'Stand Your Ground' Laws May Be Causing More Harm Than Good

    Americans have debated whether “stand your ground” laws or gun-free zones make us safer or less safe for decades. These are debates about factual matters that are, in principle, knowable. Without research on these and other topics, bad laws will inadvertently be passed or retained.

    Sep 12, 2019

  • Flowers and candles at a memorial five days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, August 8, 2019, photo by Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters

    Commentary

    No Need to Wait for Congress to Address Mass Shootings

    After three mass shootings in the span of a week left 53 wounded and 34 dead, pressure is mounting on Congress to respond with legislation to restrict access to guns and ammunition. But there is no need to wait for new laws. There are steps that can be taken immediately that evidence suggests could help prevent attacks or reduce the death toll from them.

    Aug 23, 2019

  • View of the U.S. Capitol Building, photo by SurangaWeeratunga/AdobeStock

    Blog

    RAND's Summer Reading List for Congress

    For busy staff, August's respite from back-to-back meetings, hearing preparation, and late votes is hard-earned. The summer recess also provides an opportunity to get ahead of issues that will resurface in the fall. To that end, we have compiled recent RAND research on topics likely to top the congressional agenda come September.

    Aug 5, 2019

  • A guest looks at the Temple of Time, a structure built to serve as a healing place for those affected by the shooting which claimed 17 lives at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Coral Springs, Florida, February 14, 2019, photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

    Commentary

    After School Shootings, Children and Communities Struggle to Heal

    School shootings leave wounds that affect students, school staff, families, and communities for years. Building community resilience, implementing evidence-based mental health support early, and providing access for survivors and the community immediately and in the long term could help promote healing and prevent more tragedy.

    Jul 19, 2019

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: May-June 2019

    This issue describes RAND research efforts to help schoolkids suffering from trauma; to help health care providers get better, more meaningful feedback; and to use technology to improve the lives of displaced people throughout the world.

    Apr 29, 2019

  • Suzanne Devine Clark places items on a memorial on the one year anniversary of the shooting which claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 14, 2019, photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

    Commentary

    Preventing Suicide: Treat Mass Shooting Trauma Beyond Initial Tragedy

    The need for mental health support and suicide-prevention efforts targeting survivors of mass shootings, and the friends and families of victims, is great. Putting such programs in place could go a long way toward helping them heal, and preventing more tragedy.

    Apr 4, 2019

  • Imam Ibrahim Abdul Halim of the Linwood Mosque is embraced by Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Coptic Church, in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019, photo by Edgar Su/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Christchurch Massacre Was Another Internet-Enabled Atrocity

    Terrorism has become an internet-enabled abuse—incited, propagated, and sometimes organized and concealed by online activity. Who should be held accountable for abusive content, the author or the publisher? And what role should the government play in regulating it?

    Mar 20, 2019

  • Andrew Morral presents testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on March 7, 2019.

    Multimedia

    Reducing Disagreements on Gun Policy Through Scientific Research and an Improved Data Infrastructure

    An overview of testimony by Andrew R. Morral presented before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on March 7, 2019.

    Mar 7, 2019

  • Gun wall rack with rifles, photo by artas/Getty Images

    Testimony

    Scientific Research Could Reduce Disagreements on Gun Policy

    More high-quality research is needed to craft policies that could contribute to reducing gun injuries, deaths, and violence. There are many ways Congress could help build a robust and transformative gun policy research enterprise. One is to appropriate funds to support a diverse portfolio of studies.

    Mar 7, 2019

  • Competitors prepare to fire during the 2015 Civilian Marksmanship Program National Trophy Pistol Matches in Camp Perry, Ohio, photo by Sgt. 1st Class Raymond J. Piper/U.S. Army

    Report

    An Evaluation of the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety

    The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act required an evaluation of the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety and its Civilian Marksmanship Program. This report summarizes the RAND Arroyo Center evaluation.

    Feb 25, 2019

  • Black handgun on a blue and white background

    News Release

    National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research Releases First Request for Research Proposals

    The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, a philanthropic fund created to support scientific research on gun policy, today released its first request for proposals to support up to $10 million in projects during its first grantmaking cycle. The deadline for initial submissions is February 4.

    Jan 7, 2019

  • Collage of 2018 most popular research images

    Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2018

    RAND serves as an objective source of facts that help inform the world's most pressing policy debates. When decisions are based on the best evidence, that's when public policy can have a positive impact on people's lives. We're highlighting the 10 research projects that RAND.org readers found most engaging this year.

    Dec 21, 2018

  • Report

    Evaluating Methods to Estimate the Effect of State Laws on Firearm Deaths: A Simulation Study

    As part of the RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative, the authors use simulations to assess the performance of a wide range of statistical models used to estimate the effects of state gun policies on firearm deaths.

    Dec 10, 2018

  • National Collaborative for Gun Violence Research

    News Release

    Gun Violence Research Collaborative to Release First Request for Research Proposals in January, Names Advisory Committee

    The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, a philanthropic fund that will support scientific research on gun policy, announced that it will release its first request for proposals in early January 2019 and award up to $10 million in research funding during its first round of grantmaking.

    Nov 15, 2018

  • AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania, October 6, 2017

    Commentary

    How U.S. Gun Laws Allow Mass Shooters to Slip Through

    The three most lethal domestic terrorist attacks since 9/11 were carried out with high-capacity semiautomatic weapons. None of the attackers were under 21 or were stoppable through criminal background checks. Restrictions on sales of semiautomatics would make it much harder for terrorists to obtain their most effective means of killing.

    Nov 15, 2018

  • Journal Article

    The Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons on the Dark Web: A Study

    A summary of the main findings and implications of the first empirical study investigating the scale and scope of arms trafficking on the dark web, illustrating the range of weapons traded, their market price and most common transit routes.

    Oct 24, 2018

  • Gun and bullets

    Essay

    More Research Could Help Prevent Gun Violence in America

    Both sides of the gun policy debate agree on what the objectives of any policy should be. But they disagree over which policies would best achieve those goals. Current evidence for or against most gun proposals is weak, contradictory, or nonexistent. Only research can show what does—and doesn't—work.

    Jul 10, 2018