Gun Policy

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  • 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.

  • Illustration by Chara Williams / Images by Adobe Stock and Getty Images

    Blog

    New Insights on Gun Policy in America

    Apr 22, 2020

    RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative aims to establish a shared set of facts about gun policies. Recently, researchers completed an update and expansion of their synthesis of all available scientific evidence on the effects of 18 classes of gun laws.

Explore Gun Policy

  • Gun Policy in America New Insights

    Multimedia

    Gun Policy in America: New Insights

    Rosanna Smart, economist with the RAND Corporation, shares new insights from the second edition of The Science of Gun Policy report.

    Jul 31, 2020

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2020

    Feature stories explore what research says about learning loss after extended school breaks; how stress and trauma affect individual and community health; and how a critical care surge response tool is helping hospitals during the pandemic.

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Changes in Firearm Mortality Following the Implementation of State Laws Regulating Firearm Access and Use

    Laws that regulate children's access to firearms, the carrying of a concealed firearm, and the use of a firearm in self-defense, are associated with an 11% decrease in the firearms-related death rate.

    Jun 26, 2020

  • Blog

    Protests and Police Reform, Facial Recognition, Gun Policies: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on protests and police reform after the killing of George Floyd, facial recognition bans, gun policies that likely reduce deaths, and more.

    Jun 19, 2020

  • Three guns in an open safe, photo by SERGEI PRIMAKOV/Adobe Stock

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Reveals Need for More Research About Guns

    Recent reports suggest that Americans reacted to the pandemic by purchasing guns and ammunition in massive numbers. What does this mean for public safety? And how can policymakers ensure that this doesn't result in more injuries or deaths?

    Jun 18, 2020

  • Gun in open lock box, photo by victorass88/Getty Images

    News Release

    Firearm Use and Storage Restrictions Associated with Reduction in Deaths

    Three common types of gun laws are associated with changes in the rate of firearm deaths, with the most-restrictive combination of the laws estimated to result in an 11 percent reduction in deaths.

    Jun 15, 2020

  • An American flag puzzle with a firearm overlay, design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND Corporation from images by dusica69 and lnm/Adobe Stock

    Tool

    Gun Policy Research for High School Students

    When RAND's Gun Policy in America initiative released its first set of research tools in 2018, high school teachers reported that their students were keenly interested. This new unit plan, recommended for grades 10 to 12, is designed to help educators and students understand gun policy research.

    Jun 11, 2020

  • News Release

    Growing Evidence About the Effects of Gun Policies Provides Needed Information for Policy Decisions

    Research evaluating the effectiveness of gun policies has surged over the past two years, providing information policymakers and the public need to make sound decisions on policies designed to reduce homicides and injuries while protecting individuals' rights.

    Apr 22, 2020

  • Tool

    State-Level Estimates of Household Firearm Ownership

    Measures of firearm ownership are critical to understanding how gun ownership may affect crime rates or other outcomes, or may be affected by gun policies. As part of the Gun Policy in America initiative, RAND researchers developed annual, state-level estimates of household firearm ownership.

    Apr 22, 2020

  • Report

    The Science of Gun Policy: Second Edition

    Unbiased evidence about the likely effects of gun laws is critical to developing fair and effective gun policies. This report, part of the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative, updates the available evidence about the potential effects of 13 laws and adds analyses of five new classes of law.

    Apr 22, 2020

  • 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 2019 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 we do not know the full costs and benefits of any gun laws. 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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