Gun Violence


  • Disassembled handgun, photo by ARTFULLY-79/Adobe Stock


    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.

  • Gun Policy  in America


    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.

Explore Gun Violence

  • Sign that reads No Firearms Allowed on School Property


    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

  • Gun Policy Comparison 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

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


    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

  • Sacramento Capitol Building, California, USA


    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.

    Mar 2, 2018

  • Two sides balancing on a tightrope working on a problem


    Expert Judgments on Gun Policy Effects

    The views of experts have an important influence on the gun policy debate. Results from a survey of experts with diverse views suggest they have similar objectives—reducing suicide and homicide rates—but disagree about which policies they believe would achieve them.

    Mar 2, 2018

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


    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

  • Visitors stand in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court


    Gun Policy in America: An Overview

    Gun policy debates appear to be grounded in disagreement about the effects of policies, not what policies should try to achieve. This suggests an important role for the scientific study of gun laws, especially where evidence is weak.

    Mar 2, 2018

  • Hand gun


    What Science Tells Us About the Effects of Gun Policies

    There are significant gaps in the available research on the effects of gun policies. However, the strongest evidence suggests laws aimed at preventing children from accessing guns would reduce firearm self-harm, and unintentional injuries and deaths among children.

    Mar 2, 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

  • A watercolor painting of a silhouette profile


    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


    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

  • 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


    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

  • 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


    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


    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

  • 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

  • People take part in a candlelight memorial service the day after a mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, June 13, 2016


    Orlando Nightclub Shooting: RAND Experts React

    RAND experts provide perspective on the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, what it likely means within the context of the campaign against ISIS, and more.

    Jun 15, 2016