Gun Policy

Featured

  • RAND Gun Policy in America logo

    Project

    Informing the Gun Policy Debate

    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.

    Mar 2, 2018

  • The U.S. Supreme Court building at night, photo by renaschild/Getty Images

    Report

    Ambiguities of Bruen Decision Will Affect State Gun Regulation

    The Supreme Court's decision in Bruen extended beyond New York's carry laws, raising broader questions about the constitutionality of other federal and state firearm laws. Courts deciding these cases will likely have to construct some new model of analyzing the surge of Second Amendment cases.

    Nov 4, 2022

Explore Gun Policy

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Blog

    New Insights on Gun Policy in America

    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.

    Apr 22, 2020

  • News Release

    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 21, 2020

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

    Visualization

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Report

    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

  • 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

  • Security camera in a classroom

    Commentary

    How Can the U.S. Do a Better Job of Keeping Kids Safe at School?

    Many proposals to improve school safety promote the use of technology, such as metal detectors and video cameras. How effective are these devices? The evidence is mixed.

    Mar 26, 2018

  • Sign that reads No Firearms Allowed on School Property

    Commentary

    How to Bring Facts into the Gun Policy Debate

    As debate continues to rage over the causes and prevention of gun violence, it's worth asking how science can help lawmakers and the public resolve longstanding disagreements that have stood in the way of solutions.

    Mar 9, 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

  • 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

  • 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

Research conducted by