A review of twenty-eight published studies of U.S. gun policy found that “laws and regulations designed to keep firearms from people at risk of committing violence, such as felons and those under restraining orders, are effective and, in some instances, reduce lethal violence. The researchers also found that certain laws, including rigorous permit-to-purchase laws which require a permit to be issued before completing a handgun sale and comprehensive background checks, are associated with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.”
The researchers are located at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California, Davis. Their findings appear in the Annual Review of Public Health, a special issue concerning gun violence prevention and policy.
“Because the news is flooded with stories of criminals and other high-risk individuals using guns to kill, we have a built-in bias to believe laws designed to prevent dangerous people from accessing guns are futile,” said study author Daniel Webster, ScD.
“We don’t hear about all of the times a dangerous person is unable or unwilling to get a gun due to strong gun laws. That is why we must look to the best available research, which suggests that high standards for legal gun ownership and strong anti-diversion policies prevent firearm-related deaths.”