Gun Policy

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    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.

    Apr 2, 2024

  • Report

    What Do Teachers Think About Carrying Guns to School?

    U.S. teachers are divided on whether arming themselves would make schools safer. One in five feels that carrying a gun would make schools safer and would do so if allowed. More than half believe teacher-carry policies would make schools less safe. And teachers' top safety concern is bullying, not guns.

    May 30, 2023

Explore Gun Policy

  • 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

    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

  • 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

  • Over 5,000 weapons confiscated from criminals in Los Angeles County and collected through a gun buyback program were melted and reformed as steel in Rancho Cucamonga, California, July 2013

    Commentary

    Gun Violence: Where Is the Research That Might Save Lives?

    Gun violence is an important public health problem that accounts for more than 33,000 deaths each year in the United States. But in 1996, Congress stripped the CDC of funding for any research that could be associated with gun control advocacy. The lack of CDC funding has deterred researchers.

    Nov 5, 2015

  • A Glock 22 pistol is displayed at the Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo store in Parker, Colorado, July 24, 2012

    Commentary

    Firearms and Gun Control: Many Questions, Some Answers

    Guns claim the lives of thousands of people in America every year. But the problem of gun violence is larger and much more complex than mass shootings. What does research say about how to reduce firearm-related deaths?

    Jan 17, 2013

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