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.

  • Map of U.S. showing changes in gun law implementation over time

    Content

    State Firearm Law Navigator

    Oct 10, 2019

    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.

Explore Firearms

  • A pile of prohibited firearms that were handed in under the Australian government's buyback scheme, July 1997.

    Essay

    U.S. Gun Policy in a Global Context

    Changes to gun policies in Australia, Switzerland, and Israel led to marked shifts in gun ownership rates. What can those experiences tell us about the impact of gun prevalence on suicide and violent crime?

    Mar 2, 2018

  • News Release

    Large-Scale Study on Gun-Policy Effects Finds Important Gaps in Existing Research; Exceptions Include Child Access ...

    One of the largest-ever studies of U.S. gun policy finds there is a shortage of evidence about the effects of most gun laws, although researchers from the RAND Corporation found there is some persuasive evidence about the effects of several common gun policies. RAND's sweeping Gun Policy in America initiative also evaluated the views of gun policy experts with opposing perspectives on the likely effects of gun laws to identify where compromise might be possible.

    Mar 2, 2018

  • Gun Policy Comparison Tool

    Tool

    What Are the Predicted Effects Of U.S. Gun Policies, According to Experts?

    As part of the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative, experts with diverse gun policy views were surveyed on how they predicted specific gun laws would affect outcomes, such as violent crime, suicide, and participation in hunting and sport shooting. This comparison tool shows where these experts agree and disagree.

    Mar 2, 2018

  • Disassembled handgun

    Report

    The Science of Gun Policy: First Edition

    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.

    Mar 2, 2018

  • The divide among experts about gun policy in the United States

    Report

    Where Gun Policy Experts Agree and Disagree on the Effects of Firearm Laws

    As part of the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative, gun policy experts were surveyed on the likely effects of 15 gun-related policies on 12 societal outcomes. Analysis of their responses shows there are shared objectives on both sides of the debate, but experts disagree on which policies will achieve those objectives.

    Mar 2, 2018

  • Shiny gold Bitcoin coin with gun on black background

    Commentary

    Bitcoin and the Dark Web: The New Terrorist Threat?

    Bitcoin has become the prominent currency of the dark web, which is often used to buy illegal goods, such as weapons and drugs. Anecdotal evidence suggests terrorists are using cryptocurrency and the dark web, but further investigation is needed.

    Jan 22, 2018

  • Report

    Can an Informative Letter Reduce Gun Crime and Be Cost-Effective? A Study of Los Angeles

    This report evaluates the effect of the letters sent by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office on city-level rates of homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault with a firearm and conducts a cost-benefit assessment of this letter program.

    Aug 2, 2017

  • Computer hacker working on laptop late at night in office

    Commentary

    Connect, Buy-Now, Fire: How the Dark Web Allows Criminals to Buy Weapons—Anonymously

    Despite its small size compared to the offline market, the ability of the dark web to anonymously arm individuals of all backgrounds needs to be taken seriously. Its potential impact on international security is significant.

    Jul 25, 2017

  • News Release

    US Weapons Main Source of Illegal Arms Trade on the Dark Web

    The illegal sales on the dark web of firearms, weapons, explosives, and banned digital guides on homemade products present challenges for law enforcement agencies and national governments. Its potential to anonymously arm criminals and terrorists, as well as vulnerable and fixated individuals, is the most dangerous aspect.

    Jul 19, 2017

  • A laptop computer, a 9mm handgun, and bullets

    Report

    U.S. Weapons Are the Main Source of Illegal Arms on the Dark Web

    Sixty percent of weapons on sale on the dark web come from the United States. This illicit market for firearms, explosives, and ammunition can anonymously arm criminals, terrorists, and others.

    Jul 19, 2017

  • A watercolor painting of a silhouette profile

    Essay

    Is Suicide Preventable? Insights from Research

    Conventional wisdom about suicide prevention suggests that one just needs to know what warning signs to look for. But that's not the case.

    May 8, 2017

  • Travelers are evacuated out of the terminal and onto the tarmac after a shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, January 6, 2017

    Commentary

    When Is a Terrorist Really a Terrorist?

    Countering mass violence demands a distinction between attackers who are truly inspired by jihadism and those with lesser links. The latter includes people whose mental states and violent tendencies preexist their exposure to the ideology.

    Jan 27, 2017

  • Report

    Against the rising tide: an overview of the growing criminalization of the Mediterranean basin

    This publication is part of a series of four RAND Perspectives (PE) each focusing on different challenges in the Mediterranean region. The focus of this PE is on defence and security issues and their implications for regional stability.

    Jan 26, 2017

  • Report

    Troubled waters: a snapshot of security challenges in the Mediterranean region

    This publication is part of a series of four RAND Perspectives (PE) each focusing on different challenges in the Mediterranean region. The focus of this PE is on defence and security issues and their implications for regional stability.

    Jan 26, 2017

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: November-December 2016

    This issue highlights the policy issues facing the next U.S. president; the problem of food, energy, and water scarcity throughout the world; and the connection between violence against women and murder.

    Oct 17, 2016

  • Chicago Police officers attend a news conference held by Superintendent Eddie Johnson announcing the department's plan to hire nearly 1,000 new police officers in Chicago, Illinois, September 21, 2016

    Commentary

    Pitfalls of Predictive Policing

    The Chicago Police Department's predictive policing program didn't work. To achieve even a 5 percent drop in the city's homicide rate, enormous leaps in both prediction and intervention effectiveness are necessary.

    Oct 11, 2016

  • Bullets and firearm on a retail store counter

    Commentary

    Tracing Firearms and Ammunition

    The marking of firearms and ammunition supports effective tracing by enabling identification and efficient record keeping. But currently there are no mandatory, globally accepted standards that regulate firearms marking.

    Sep 9, 2016

  • Barbara Hytower, holding a photo of her daughter Jamila who was murdered in Myrtle Beach, stands with other members of South Carolina Mothers Against Violence before the start of a rally, February 25, 2016

    Commentary

    Domestic Warning Signs of Mass Shootings

    After shootings, there is inevitably public debate over gun safety, constitutional rights, police tactics, terrorism, race, and politics. But these discussions rarely focus on a common factor among the perpetrators: a history of violence against women.

    Aug 6, 2016

  • Close up of a handgun on a table, with a person in the background

    Journal Article

    Firearm Ownership and Acquisition Among Parents with Risk Factors for Self-Harm or Other Violence

    Families with risk factors such as parental mental illness and substance use have a modestly greater probability of having a firearm in the home compared with families without risk factors.

    Jul 14, 2016

  • Police investigate the scene of a shooting at a federal office building in Lower Manhattan, New York, August 21, 2015

    Report

    Evaluating a Study of State Gun Policies

    A RAND study team reviewed an article in The Lancet on the effects of state firearm laws and found problems in its methods and findings. The assessment provides a detailed account of the errors and statistical support for the team's conclusions.

    Jul 14, 2016