Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce firearm homicides?

Submitted by: LCheng 132

There is no consensus in the literature on this question.
This short answer was generated by aggregating the answers that each of the 7 studies below gave to the question (as indicated by State of K members) and adjusting for source quality and other factors. If key studies are missing or the answers attributed to individual studies are incorrect, the above answer could be wrong. For medical questions, don't rely on the information here. Consult a medical professional.


Chart summary of 7 studies examining this question

All answers are assigned by State of K users. The label Couldn't Identify means that State of K was not able to determine whether a study answers the question "yes" or "no". This could be due to several factors. One possibility is that a study found some evidence to indicate that the answer to the question is "yes" and some evidence to indicate that the answer is "no". This often happens when a study uses two or more proxies to study the same phenomenon (i.e. firearm sales figures and self-reported firearm ownership rates as proxies for the prevalence of firearms) and the proxies yield different results when looking for correlations with another phenomenon (i.e. firearm-related deaths). Alternatively, the label may be applied if the phenomenon under study (i.e. whether breast milk improves cognitive function) is true for one group, but not another (i.e. true for girls, but not for boys). Yet another possibility is that a study found there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion regarding the question. Finally, the full text or abstract of a study may not have been written clearly or was inaccessible. This would make it difficult to determine how a study answered a question.

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QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Do assault weapons bans reduce mass shootings?
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Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce firearm suicides?
5 studies
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Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce mass shootings?
1 study
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Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce total suicides?
2 studies
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Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce violent crime?
6 studies
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Do background checks on mental illness for firearm purchases reduce total suicides?
1 study
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SUMMARIES OF STUDIES
Total studies in list: 7
Sorted by publication year
1
California's comprehensive background check and misdemeanor violence prohibition policies and firearm mortality
"PurposeIn 1991, California implemented a law that mandated a background check for all firearm purchases with limited exceptions (comprehensive background check or CBC policy) and prohibited firearm purchase and possession for persons convicted within the past 10 years of certain violent crimes classified as misdemeanors (MVP policy). We evaluated the population effect of the simultaneous implementation of CBC and MVP policies in California on firearm homicide and suicide.MethodsQuasi-experimental ecological study using the synthetic control group methodology. We included annual firearm and nonfirearm mortality data for California and 32 control states for 1981–2000, with secondary analyses up to 2005.ResultsThe simultaneous implementation of CBC and MVP policies was not associated with a net change in the firearm homicide rate over the ensuing 10 years in California. The decrease in firearm suicides in California was similar to the decrease in nonfirearm suicides in that state. Results were robust across multiple model specifications and methods.ConclusionsCBC and MVP policies were not associated with changes in firearm suicide or homicide. Incomplete and missing records for background checks, incomplete compliance and enforcement, and narrowly constructed prohibitions may be among the reasons for these null findings."
AUTHORS
Daniel W. Webster
Jon S. Vernick
Cassandra K. Crifasi
Magdalena Cerdá
Rose M.C. Kagawa
Alvaro Castillo-Carniglia et al
PUBLISHED
2019 in Annals of Epidemiology
Q2
No
No
2
Association between Firearm Laws and Homicide in Urban Counties
"Laws related to the sale, use, and carrying of firearms have been associated with differences in firearm homicide rates at the state level. Right-to-carry (RTC) and stand your ground (SYG) laws are associated with increases in firearm homicide; permit-to-purchase (PTP) laws and those prohibiting individuals convicted of violent misdemeanors (VM) have been associated with decreases in firearm homicide. Evidence for the effect of comprehensive background checks (CBC) not tied to PTP is inconclusive. Because firearm homicide tends to concentrate in urban areas, this study was designed to test the effects of firearm laws on homicide in large, urban U.S. counties. We conducted a longitudinal study using an interrupted time series design to evaluate the effect of firearm laws on homicide in large, urban U.S. counties from 1984 to 2015 (N = 136). We used mixed effects Poisson regression models with random intercepts for counties and year fixed effects to account for national trends. Models also included county and state characteristics associated with violence. Homicide was stratified by firearm versus all other methods to test for specificity of the laws’ effects. PTP laws were associated with a 14% reduction in firearm homicide in large, urban counties (IRR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.82–0.90). CBC-only, SYG, RTC, and VM laws were all associated with increases in firearm homicide. None of the laws were associated with differences in non-firearm homicide rates. These findings are consistent with prior research at the state level showing PTP laws are associated with decreased firearm homicide. Testing the effects of PTP laws specifically in large, urban counties strengthens available evidence by isolating the effects in the geographic locations in which firearm homicides concentrate."
AUTHORS
Daniel W. Webster
Garen J. Wintemute
Jon S. Vernick
Alex McCourt
Molly Merrill-Francis
Cassandra K. Crifasi
PUBLISHED
2018 in Journal of Urban Health
High quality source
FUNDERS
Joyce Foundation
Couldn't Identify
Couldn't Identify
3
Repeal of Comprehensive Background Check Policies and Firearm Homicide and Suicide
"BACKGROUND:In 2016, firearms killed 38,658 people in the United States. Federal law requires licensed gun dealers, but not private parties, to conduct background checks on prospective firearm purchasers with the goal of preventing prohibited persons from obtaining firearms. Our objective was to estimate the effect of the repeal of comprehensive background check laws-requiring a background check for all handgun sales, not just sales by licensed dealers-on firearm homicide and suicide rates in Indiana and Tennessee.METHODS:We compared age-adjusted firearm homicide and suicide rates, measured annually from 1981 to 2008 and 1994 to 2008 in Indiana and Tennessee, respectively, to rates in control groups constructed using the synthetic control method.RESULTS:The average rates of firearm homicide and suicide in Indiana and Tennessee following repeal were within the range of what could be expected, given natural variation (differences = 0.7 firearm homicides and 0.5 firearm suicides per 100,000 residents in Indiana and 0.4 firearm homicides and 0.3 firearm suicides per 100,000 residents in Tennessee). Sensitivity analyses resulted in similar findings.CONCLUSION:We found no evidence of an association between the repeal of comprehensive background check policies and firearm homicide and suicide rates in Indiana and Tennessee. In order to understand whether comprehensive background check policies reduce firearm deaths in the United States generally, more evidence on the impact of such policies from other states is needed. See video abstract at, http://links.lww.com/EDE/B353."
AUTHORS
Kara E. Rudolph
Cassandra Crifasi
Daniel Webster
Jon S. Vernick
Alvaro Castillo-Carniglia
Rose M.C. Kagawa et al
PUBLISHED
2018 in Epidemiology
High quality source
No
No
4
The effects of state and federal background checks on state-level gun-related murder rates
"The purpose of the present study was to determine whether firearm background checks are significantly related to gun-related murder rates. The present study differs from prior research in several ways. First, a large longitudinal data-set is used; data for 50 states for the period 1980?2011 are examined. Second, the effects of both federal and state background checks, including state-mandated private sales background checks, are estimated. Finally, a fixed effects model that controls for both state-level and year-specific effects is used. Results suggest that states that require dealer background checks have lower gun-related murder rates than other states. In addition, after implementation of the Brady Act, gun-related murder rates fell. However, the results also suggest that, for the entire period in question, states with private sales background checks had higher gun-related murder rates than states with no such background checks. If one only looks the Brady Act period, however, then the private sales background check variable is insignificant. These results for private sales background checks are novel and contrary to the results of much prior research in this area."
AUTHOR
Mark Gius
PUBLISHED
2015 in Applied Economics
Q2
Yes
Yes
5
‘Gun Control’ vs. ‘Self-Protection’: A Case Against the Ideological Divide
"A recent string of vicious, senseless and tragic mass spree killings have propelled anintense re-appraisal of U.S. gun laws, but the ensuing dialogue amply demonstratesthat the opposing sides of the gun policy debate are as firmly entrenched in theirmutual opposition to one another as ever before (Washington, 2012). Those whofavor stricter “gun control” axiomatically oppose “personal protection” (e.g., “right tocarry”) strategies, whereas those who favor “personal protection” measuresstridently oppose “gun control”. The present study compares statistically (N=1736)these two contrasting approaches according to the methodologicalrecommendations published by a National Academy of Sciences Research Panel(Wellford, Pepper & Petrie, 2005), and the results provisionally suggest that“personal protection” (“right to carry”; henceforth “RTC”) laws may reduce both gunhomicide rates and total homicide rates, whereas traditional “gun control” policiesdo not detectably effect either outcome. However, the present study also observesthat neither type of measure was originally designed to protect the public againstthe presently emerging and more deadly threat posed by armed and mentally disturbed mass spree killers. Suggestions for the modification of existing gunmeasures to more effectively prevent future mass spree-killings are offered."
AUTHOR
James M. La Valle
PUBLISHED
2013 in justice policy journal
UNRANKED SOURCE
Couldn't Identify
Couldn't Identify
6
State background checks for gun purchase and firearm deaths: An exploratory study
"Objective: This study examines the relationship between the types of background-information check required by states prior to firearm purchases, and firearm homicide and suicide deaths.Methods: Negative binomial models are used to analyze state-level data for homicides and suicides in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005. Data on types of background information are retrieved from the Surveys of State Procedures Related to Firearm Sales, and the violent death data are from the WISQARS. Several other state level factors were controlled for.Results: More background checks are associated with fewer homicide (IRR:0.93, 95% CI:0.91-0.96) and suicide (IRR:0.98, 95% CI:0.96-1.00) deaths. Firearm homicide deaths are lower when states have checks for restraining orders (IRR:0.87, 95% CI:0.79-0.95) and fugitive status (IRR:0.79, 95% CI:0.72-0.88). Firearm suicide deaths are lower when states have background checks for mental illness (IRR:0.96, 95% CI:0.92-0.99), fugitive status (IRR:0.95, 95% CI:0.90-0.99) and misdemeanors (IRR:0.95, 95% CI:0.92-1.00). It does not appear that reductions in firearm deaths are offset by increases in non-firearm violent deaths.Conclusions: More extensive background checks prior to gun purchase are mostly associated with reductions in firearm homicide and suicide deaths. Several study limitations are acknowledged, and further research is called for to ascertain causality. © 2012 Elsevier Inc."
AUTHORS
Anantachai Panjamapirom
Bisakha Sen
PUBLISHED
2012 in Preventive Medicine
High quality source
Yes
Yes
7
Homicide and Suicide Rates Associated With Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
"CONTEXT: In February 1994, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act established a nationwide requirement that licensed firearms dealers observe a waiting period and initiate a background check for handgun sales. The effects of this act have not been analyzed.OBJECTIVE: To determine whether implementation of the Brady Act was associated with reductions in homicide and suicide rates. DESIGN ANDSETTING: Analysis of vital statistics data in the United States for 1985 through 1997 from the National Center for Health Statistics.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total and firearm homicide and suicide rates per 100,000 adults (>/=21 years and >/=55 years) and proportion of homicides and suicides resulting from firearms were calculated by state and year. Controlling for population age, race, poverty and income levels, urban residence, and alcohol consumption, the 32 "treatment" states directly affected by the Brady Act requirements were compared with the 18 "control" states and the District of Columbia, which had equivalent legislation already in place.RESULTS: Changes in rates of homicide and suicide for treatment and control states were not significantly different, except for firearm suicides among persons aged 55 years or older (-0.92 per 100,000; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.43 to -0.42). This reduction in suicides for persons aged 55 years or older was much stronger in states that had instituted both waiting periods and background checks (-1.03 per 100,000; 95% CI, -1.58 to -0.47) than in states that only changed background check requirements (-0.17 per 100,000; 95% CI, -1.09 to 0.75).CONCLUSIONS: Based on the assumption that the greatest reductions in fatal violence would be within states that were required to institute waiting periods and background checks, implementation of the Brady Act appears to have been associated with reductions in the firearm suicide rate for persons aged 55 years or older but not with reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates. However, the pattern of implementation of the Brady Act does not permit a reliable analysis of a potential effect of reductions in the flow of guns from treatment-state gun dealers into secondary markets. JAMA. 2000;284:585-591"
AUTHORS
Philip J. Cook
Jens Ludwig
PUBLISHED
2000 in JAMA
High quality source
Couldn't Identify
Couldn't Identify







ADDITIONAL STUDIES TO CONSIDER ADDING TO LIST
Total additional studies: 29
State of K's algorithms generated the list of studies below based on the studies that were added to the above list. Some of these studies may also examine: "Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce firearm homicides?" If a study examines this question, add it to the list by pressing the button.

Only add studies that examine the same question. Do not add studies that are merely on the same topic.

Firearm Acquisition Without Background Checks: Results of a National Survey.
"Background: In 1994, 40% of U.S. gun owners who had recently acquired a firearm did so without a background check. No contemporary estimates exist.

Objective: To estimate the proportion of current U.S. gun owners who acquired their most recent firearm without a background check, by time since and manner of acquisition, for the nation as a whole and separately in states with and without legislation regulating private sales.

Design: Probability-based online survey.

Setting: United States, 2015.

Participants: 1613 adult gun owners.

Measurements: Current gun owners were asked where and when they acquired their last firearm; if they purchased the firearm; and whether, as part of that acquisition, they had a background check (or were asked to show a firearm license or permit).

Results: 22% (95% CI, 16% to 27%) of gun owners who reported obtaining their most recent firearm within the previous 2 years reported doing so without a background check. For firearms purchased privately within the previous 2 years (that is, other than from a store or pawnshop, including sales between individuals in person, online, or at gun shows), 50% (CI, 35% to 65%) were obtained without a background check. This percentage was 26% (CI, 5% to 47%) for owners residing in states regulating private firearm sales and 57% (CI, 40% to 75%) for those living in states without regulations on private firearm sales.

Limitation: Potential inaccuracies due to recall and social desirability bias.

Conclusion: 22% of current U.S. gun owners who acquired a firearm within the past 2 years did so without a background check. Although this represents a smaller proportion of gun owners obtaining firearms without background checks than in the past, millions of U.S. adults continue to acquire guns without background checks, especially in states that do not regulate private firearm sales.

Primary Funding Source: Fund for a Safer Future and the Joyce Foundation.

"
AUTHORS
Matthew Miller
Lisa Hepburn
Deborah Azrael
PUBLISHED
2017 in Annals of Internal Medicine

Add to List
State Firearm Laws and Interstate Transfer of Guns in the USA, 2006-2016.
"In a cross-sectional, panel study, we examined the relationship between state firearm laws and the extent of interstate transfer of guns, as measured by the percentage of crime guns recovered in a state and traced to an in-state source (as opposed to guns recovered in a state and traced to an out-of-state source). We used 2006-2016 data on state firearm laws obtained from a search of selected state statutes and 2006-2016 crime gun trace data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. We examined the relationship between state firearm laws and interstate transfer of guns using annual data from all 50 states during the period 2006-2016 and employing a two-way fixed effects model. The primary outcome variable was the percentage of crime guns recovered in a state that could be traced to an original point of purchase within that state as opposed to another state. The main exposure variables were eight specific state firearm laws pertaining to dealer licensing, sales restrictions, background checks, registration, prohibitors for firearm purchase, and straw purchase of guns. Four laws were independently associated with a significantly lower percentage of in-state guns: a waiting period for handgun purchase, permits required for firearm purchase, prohibition of firearm possession by people convicted of a violent misdemeanor, and a requirement for relinquishment of firearms when a person becomes disqualified from owning them. States with a higher number of gun laws had a lower percentage of traced guns to in-state dealers, with each increase of one in the total number of laws associated with a decrease of 1.6 percentage points in the proportion of recovered guns that were traced to an in-state as opposed to an out-of-state source. Based on an examination of the movement patterns of guns across states, the overall observed pattern of gun flow was out of states with weak gun laws and into states with strong gun laws. These findings indicate that certain state firearm laws are associated with a lower percentage of recovered crime guns being traced to an in-state source, suggesting reduced access to guns in states with those laws."
AUTHORS
Shea W Cronin
Ziming Xuan
Michael Siegel
Emily F Rothman
David Hemenway
Tessa Collins et al
PUBLISHED
2018 in Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine

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Firearm suicides and homicides in the United States: Regional variations and patterns of gun ownership
"Among industrialized countries, the United States has the highest rates of firearm suicide and homicide, as well as the highest rate of gun ownership. The present study compares the differential impact of gun availability on firearm suicides and homicides in the U.S. Using data from the NCHS Mortality Detail Files (1989-1991), the 1990 U.S. census population estimates, and the General Social Surveys (1989-1991) for nine geographic divisions, we computed rates of firearm and non-firearm suicides and homicides as well as rates of gun ownership for four gender-race groups. We tested the strength of the associations between gun availability and firearm suicide and homicide rates by computing the Spearman correlation coefficients. To help elucidate the role of method substitution, we conducted similar analyses on non-firearm suicide and homicide. The results show that gun ownership has a stronger impact on firearm suicides than homicides. These findings held up after stratifying by gender and race. The study suggests that reducing the aggregate level of gun availability may decrease the risk of firearm-related deaths."
AUTHORS
Olga Geling
Mark S. Kaplan
PUBLISHED
1998 in Social Science and Medicine

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Firearm suicides and homicides in the United States: regional variations and patterns of gun ownership.
"Among industrialized countries, the United States has the highest rates of firearm suicide and homicide, as well as the highest rate of gun ownership. The present study compares the differential impact of gun availability on firearm suicides and homicides in the U.S. Using data from the NCHS Mortality Detail Files (1989-1991), the 1990 U.S. census population estimates, and the General Social Surveys (1989-1991) for nine geographic divisions, we computed rates of firearm and non-firearm suicides and homicides as well as rates of gun ownership for four gender-race groups. We tested the strength of the associations between gun availability and firearm suicide and homicide rates by computing the Spearman correlation coefficients. To help elucidate the role of method substitution, we conducted similar analyses on non-firearm suicide and homicide. The results show that gun ownership has a stronger impact on firearm suicides than homicides. These findings held up after stratifying by gender and race. The study suggests that reducing the aggregate level of gun availability may decrease the risk of firearm-related deaths."
AUTHORS
M S Kaplan
O Geling
PUBLISHED
1998 in Social science & medicine (1982)

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Australia's 1996 gun law reforms: faster falls in firearm deaths, firearm suicides, and a decade without mass shootings.
"Background: After a 1996 firearm massacre in Tasmania in which 35 people died, Australian governments united to remove semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns and rifles from civilian possession, as a key component of gun law reforms.

Objective: To determine whether Australia's 1996 major gun law reforms were associated with changes in rates of mass firearm homicides, total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides, and whether there were any apparent method substitution effects for total homicides and suicides.

Design: Observational study using official statistics. Negative binomial regression analysis of changes in firearm death rates and comparison of trends in pre-post gun law reform firearm-related mass killings.

Setting: Australia, 1979-2003.

Main Outcome Measures: Changes in trends of total firearm death rates, mass fatal shooting incidents, rates of firearm homicide, suicide and unintentional firearm deaths, and of total homicides and suicides per 100,000 population.

Results: In the 18 years before the gun law reforms, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, and none in the 10.5 years afterwards. Declines in firearm-related deaths before the law reforms accelerated after the reforms for total firearm deaths (p = 0.04), firearm suicides (p = 0.007) and firearm homicides (p = 0.15), but not for the smallest category of unintentional firearm deaths, which increased. No evidence of substitution effect for suicides or homicides was observed. The rates per 100,000 of total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides all at least doubled their existing rates of decline after the revised gun laws.

Conclusions: Australia's 1996 gun law reforms were followed by more than a decade free of fatal mass shootings, and accelerated declines in firearm deaths, particularly suicides. Total homicide rates followed the same pattern. Removing large numbers of rapid-firing firearms from civilians may be an effective way of reducing mass shootings, firearm homicides and firearm suicides.

"
AUTHORS
M Jones
K Agho
P Alpers
S Chapman
PUBLISHED
2006 in Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention

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Australia's 1996 gun law reforms: faster falls in firearm deaths, firearm suicides, and a decade without mass shootings
"Background: After a 1996 firearm massacre in Tasmania in which 35 people died, Australian governments united to remove semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns and rifles from civilian possession, as a key component of gun law reforms.

Objective: To determine whether Australia’s 1996 major gun law reforms were associated with changes in rates of mass firearm homicides, total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides, and whether there were any apparent method substitution effects for total homicides and suicides.

Design: Observational study using official statistics. Negative binomial regression analysis of changes in firearm death rates and comparison of trends in pre–post gun law reform firearm-related mass killings.

Setting: Australia, 1979–2003.

Main outcome measures: Changes in trends of total firearm death rates, mass fatal shooting incidents, rates of firearm homicide, suicide and unintentional firearm deaths, and of total homicides and suicides per 100 000 population.

Results: In the 18 years before the gun law reforms, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, and none in the 10.5 years afterwards. Declines in firearm-related deaths before the law reforms accelerated after the reforms for total firearm deaths (p = 0.04), firearm suicides (p = 0.007) and firearm homicides (p = 0.15), but not for the smallest category of unintentional firearm deaths, which increased. No evidence of substitution effect for suicides or homicides was observed. The rates per 100 000 of total firearm deaths, firearm homicides and firearm suicides all at least doubled their existing rates of decline after the revised gun laws.

Conclusions: Australia’s 1996 gun law reforms were followed by more than a decade free of fatal mass shootings, and accelerated declines in firearm deaths, particularly suicides. Total homicide rates followed the same pattern. Removing large numbers of rapid-firing firearms from civilians may be an effective way of reducing mass shootings, firearm homicides and firearm suicides."
AUTHORS
M Jones
K Agho
P Alpers
S Chapman
PUBLISHED
2006 in Injury Prevention

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Impact of California firearms sales laws and dealer regulations on the illegal diversion of guns
"Objective: The available evidence suggests that more restrictive state firearm sales laws can reduce criminal access to guns. California has firearm-related laws that are more stringent than many other states and regulates its retail firearms dealers to a unique degree. This research seeks to examine the effect of more restrictive state gun laws and regulations on the illegal diversion of guns to criminals.

Design: Survival analyses are used to determine whether state firearm sales laws, particularly California's legal context and regulatory regime, impact the distribution of time-to-crime of recovered firearms in that state relative to other US states.

Setting: USA.

Subjects: 225,392 traced firearms, where the first retail purchasers and the gun possessors were different individuals, recovered by law enforcement agencies between 2003 and 2006.

Results: The increased stringency of state-level firearms laws and regulations leads to consistently older firearms being recovered. California was associated with the oldest recovered crime guns compared with guns associated with other states. These patterns persisted regardless of whether firearms were first purchased within the recovery state or in another state.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that more restrictive gun sales laws and gun dealer regulations do make it more difficult for criminals to acquire new guns first purchased at retail outlets.

"
AUTHORS
Garen J Wintemute
Anthony A Braga
Glenn L Pierce
PUBLISHED
2015 in Injury Prevention

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Repeal of Comprehensive Background Check Policies and Firearm Homicide and Suicide.
"Background: In 2016, firearms killed 38,658 people in the United States. Federal law requires licensed gun dealers, but not private parties, to conduct background checks on prospective firearm purchasers with the goal of preventing prohibited persons from obtaining firearms. Our objective was to estimate the effect of the repeal of comprehensive background check laws-requiring a background check for all handgun sales, not just sales by licensed dealers-on firearm homicide and suicide rates in Indiana and Tennessee.

Methods: We compared age-adjusted firearm homicide and suicide rates, measured annually from 1981 to 2008 and 1994 to 2008 in Indiana and Tennessee, respectively, to rates in control groups constructed using the synthetic control method.

Results: The average rates of firearm homicide and suicide in Indiana and Tennessee following repeal were within the range of what could be expected, given natural variation (differences = 0.7 firearm homicides and 0.5 firearm suicides per 100,000 residents in Indiana and 0.4 firearm homicides and 0.3 firearm suicides per 100,000 residents in Tennessee). Sensitivity analyses resulted in similar findings.

Conclusion: We found no evidence of an association between the repeal of comprehensive background check policies and firearm homicide and suicide rates in Indiana and Tennessee. In order to understand whether comprehensive background check policies reduce firearm deaths in the United States generally, more evidence on the impact of such policies from other states is needed. See video abstract at, http://links.lww.com/EDE/B353.

"
AUTHORS
Kara E Rudolph
Cassandra Crifasi
Daniel Webster
Jon S Vernick
Alvaro Castillo-Carniglia
Rose M C Kagawa et al
PUBLISHED

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Firearm legislation and firearm mortality in the USA: a cross-sectional, state-level study.
"Background: In an effort to reduce firearm mortality rates in the USA, US states have enacted a range of firearm laws to either strengthen or deregulate the existing main federal gun control law, the Brady Law. We set out to determine the independent association of different firearm laws with overall firearm mortality, homicide firearm mortality, and suicide firearm mortality across all US states. We also projected the potential reduction of firearm mortality if the three most strongly associated firearm laws were enacted at the federal level.

Methods: We constructed a cross-sectional, state-level dataset from Nov 1, 2014, to May 15, 2015, using counts of firearm-related deaths in each US state for the years 2008-10 (stratified by intent [homicide and suicide]) from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, data about 25 firearm state laws implemented in 2009, and state-specific characteristics such as firearm ownership for 2013, firearm export rates, and non-firearm homicide rates for 2009, and unemployment rates for 2010. Our primary outcome measure was overall firearm-related mortality per 100,000 people in the USA in 2010. We used Poisson regression with robust variances to derive incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% CIs.

Findings: 31,672 firearm-related deaths occurred in 2010 in the USA (10·1 per 100,000 people; mean state-specific count 631·5 [SD 629·1]). Of 25 firearm laws, nine were associated with reduced firearm mortality, nine were associated with increased firearm mortality, and seven had an inconclusive association. After adjustment for relevant covariates, the three state laws most strongly associated with reduced overall firearm mortality were universal background checks for firearm purchase (multivariable IRR 0·39 [95% CI 0·23-0·67]; p=0·001), ammunition background checks (0·18 [0·09-0·36]; p<0·0001), and identification requirement for firearms (0·16 [0·09-0·29]; p<0·0001). Projected federal-level implementation of universal background checks for firearm purchase could reduce national firearm mortality from 10·35 to 4·46 deaths per 100,000 people, background checks for ammunition purchase could reduce it to 1·99 per 100,000, and firearm identification to 1·81 per 100,000.

Interpretation: Very few of the existing state-specific firearm laws are associated with reduced firearm mortality, and this evidence underscores the importance of focusing on relevant and effective firearms legislation. Implementation of universal background checks for the purchase of firearms or ammunition, and firearm identification nationally could substantially reduce firearm mortality in the USA.

Funding: None.

"
AUTHORS
Sandro Galea
Jeffrey A Fagan
Matthew E Mobily
Olivia Keiser
Bindu Kalesan
PUBLISHED
2016 in Lancet (London, England)

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Firearm Laws and Firearm Homicides
"Importance: Firearm homicide is a leading cause of injury death in the United States, and there is considerable debate over the effectiveness of firearm policies. An analysis of the effectiveness of firearm laws on firearm homicide is important to understand optimal policies to decrease firearm homicide in the United States.

Objective: To evaluate the association between firearm laws and preventing firearm homicides in the United States.

Evidence Review: We evaluated peer-reviewed articles from 1970 to 2016 focusing on the association between US firearm laws and firearm homicide. We searched PubMed, CINAHL, Lexis/Nexis, Sociological Abstracts, Academic Search Premier, the Index to Legal Periodicals and Books, and the references from the assembled articles. We divided laws into 5 categories: those that (1) curb gun trafficking, (2) strengthen background checks, (3) improve child safety, (4) ban military-style assault weapons, and (5) restrict firearms in public places and leniency in firearm carrying. The articles were assessed using the standardized Guide to Community Preventive Services data collection instrument and 5 additional quality metrics: (1) appropriate data source(s) and outcome measure(s) were used for the study, (2) the time frame studied was adequate, (3) appropriate statistical tests were used, (4) the analytic results were robust, and (5) the disaggregated results of control variables were consistent with the literature.

Findings: In the aggregate, stronger gun policies were associated with decreased rates of firearm homicide, even after adjusting for demographic and sociologic factors. Laws that strengthen background checks and permit-to-purchase seemed to decrease firearm homicide rates. Specific laws directed at firearm trafficking, improving child safety, or the banning of military-style assault weapons were not associated with changes in firearm homicide rates. The evidence for laws restricting guns in public places and leniency in gun carrying was mixed.

Conclusions And Relevance: The strength of firearm legislation in general, and laws related to strengthening background checks and permit-to-purchase in particular, is associated with decreased firearm homicide rates. High-quality research is important to further evaluate the effectiveness of these laws. Legislation is just 1 part of a multipronged approach that will be necessary to decrease firearm homicides in the United States.

"
AUTHORS
David Hemenway
Saranya Srinivasan
Elorm Avakame
Caitlin Farrell
Eric W. Fleegler
Lois K. Lee et al
PUBLISHED
2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine

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Firearm Death Rates and Association with Level of Firearm Purchase Background Check
"Background: Past ecologic analyses of firearm deaths have studied the effects of various gun-control laws; however, no study has analyzed the effects of the differences among states in the background checks required for firearm purchase. Some states utilize a federal agency to conduct the background checks; others use a state agency; still others use a local agency. The information potentially available to checking agencies at different levels of government varies; the consequence of this variation is not known.

Methods: In 2007, negative binomial regression models were used to assess the association between the Department of Justice classification of agencies conducting firearm background checks for each state in 2002-2004 and firearm suicide and homicide rates for the same years from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control while controlling for age, race, unemployment, crime, income inequality, poverty, alcohol consumption, urbanization, and divorce rate.

Results: Performing local-level background checks was associated with a 27%-lower firearm suicide rate (incidence rate ratio [IRR]=0.73, 95% CI=0.60, 0.89) and a 22%-lower homicide rate (IRR=0.78, 95% CI=0.61, 1.01) in adults>or=21 years.

Conclusions: Using local-level agencies to perform firearm background checks is associated with reduced rates of firearm suicide and homicide. Methods to increase local-level agency background checks, such as authorizing local police or sheriff's departments to conduct them, or developing the capability to share local-level records with federal databases, should be evaluated as a means of reducing firearm deaths.

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AUTHORS
Clare E. Guse
Peter M. Layde
Steven A. Sumner
PUBLISHED
2008 in American Journal of Preventive Medicine

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Association between Firearm Laws and Homicide in Urban Counties.
"Laws related to the sale, use, and carrying of firearms have been associated with differences in firearm homicide rates at the state level. Right-to-carry (RTC) and stand your ground (SYG) laws are associated with increases in firearm homicide; permit-to-purchase (PTP) laws and those prohibiting individuals convicted of violent misdemeanors (VM) have been associated with decreases in firearm homicide. Evidence for the effect of comprehensive background checks (CBC) not tied to PTP is inconclusive. Because firearm homicide tends to concentrate in urban areas, this study was designed to test the effects of firearm laws on homicide in large, urban U.S. counties. We conducted a longitudinal study using an interrupted time series design to evaluate the effect of firearm laws on homicide in large, urban U.S. counties from 1984 to 2015 (N = 136). We used mixed effects Poisson regression models with random intercepts for counties and year fixed effects to account for national trends. Models also included county and state characteristics associated with violence. Homicide was stratified by firearm versus all other methods to test for specificity of the laws' effects. PTP laws were associated with a 14% reduction in firearm homicide in large, urban counties (IRR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.82-0.90). CBC-only, SYG, RTC, and VM laws were all associated with increases in firearm homicide. None of the laws were associated with differences in non-firearm homicide rates. These findings are consistent with prior research at the state level showing PTP laws are associated with decreased firearm homicide. Testing the effects of PTP laws specifically in large, urban counties strengthens available evidence by isolating the effects in the geographic locations in which firearm homicides concentrate."
AUTHORS
Daniel W Webster
Garen J Wintemute
Jon S Vernick
Alex McCourt
Molly Merrill-Francis
Cassandra K Crifasi
PUBLISHED

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Background Checks for all Gun Buyers and Gun Violence Restraining Orders: State Efforts to Keep Guns from High-Risk Persons
"There were more than 36,000 firearm-related deaths in the U.S. in 2015. Under federal law, a background check is required only for gun purchases from licensed dealers. Research suggests that some persons prohibited from owning a gun turn to private sellers, including those identified online, to attempt to obtain a firearm. State-level approaches to make it more difficult for high-risk persons to purchase or possess firearms include universal background check (UBC) and gun violence restraining order (GVRO) laws. UBC laws, on the books in 18 states as of the end of 2016, can reduce both homicide and suicide rates. After Colorado adopted a UBC law in 2013, the number of background checks conducted by private sellers for sales occurring at places other than gun shows steadily increased. GVRO laws give law enforcement and families the authority to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from an individual who presents a danger to himself or others during times of crisis, regardless of whether that person has been diagnosed with a mental illness. California enacted a GVRO law in 2014. Data are emerging to suggest the effectiveness of GVRO-type laws at averting suicides and providing an entryway to services."
AUTHORS
Joshua Horwitz
Ted Alcorn
Jon S. Vernick
PUBLISHED
2017 in The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics

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An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates
"The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997)."
AUTHOR
Mark Gius
PUBLISHED
2014 in Applied Economics Letters

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Criminal Use of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Semiautomatic Firearms: an Updated Examination of Local and National Sources.
"Policies restricting semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines are intended to reduce gunshot victimizations by limiting the stock of semiautomatic firearms with large ammunition capacities and other military-style features conducive to criminal use. The federal government banned such weaponry from 1994 to 2004, and a few states currently impose similar restrictions. Recent debates concerning these weapons have highlighted their use in mass shootings, but there has been little examination of their use in gun crime more generally since the expiration of the federal ban. This study investigates current levels of criminal activity with assault weapons and other high-capacity semiautomatics in the USA using several local and national data sources including the following: (1) guns recovered by police in ten large cities, (2) guns reported by police to federal authorities for investigative tracing, (3) guns used in murders of police, and (4) guns used in mass murders. Results suggest assault weapons (primarily assault-type rifles) account for 2-12% of guns used in crime in general (most estimates suggest less than 7%) and 13-16% of guns used in murders of police. Assault weapons and other high-capacity semiautomatics together generally account for 22 to 36% of crime guns, with some estimates upwards of 40% for cases involving serious violence including murders of police. Assault weapons and other high-capacity semiautomatics appear to be used in a higher share of firearm mass murders (up to 57% in total), though data on this issue are very limited. Trend analyses also indicate that high-capacity semiautomatics have grown from 33 to 112% as a share of crime guns since the expiration of the federal ban-a trend that has coincided with recent growth in shootings nationwide. Further research seems warranted on how these weapons affect injuries and deaths from gun violence and how their regulation may impact public health."
AUTHORS
Natalie Mullins
Ambrozine Ayers
Jordan L Nichols
William D Johnson
Christopher S Koper
PUBLISHED

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Common Sense or Gun Control? Political Communication and News Media Framing of Firearm Sale Background Checks after Newtown
"Gun violence is a critical public health problem in the United States, but it is rarely at the top of the public policy agenda. The 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, opened a rare window of opportunity to strengthen firearm policies in the United States. In this study, we examine the American public's exposure to competing arguments for and against federal- and state-level universal background check laws, which would require a background check prior to every firearm sale, in a large sample of national and regional news stories (n = 486) published in the year following the Newtown shooting. Competing messages about background check laws could influence the outcome of policy debates by shifting support and political engagement among key constituencies such as gun owners and conservatives. We found that news media messages in support of universal background checks were fact-based and used rational arguments, and opposing messages often used rights-based frames designed to activate the core values of politically engaged gun owners. Reframing supportive messages about background check policies to align with gun owners' and conservatives' core values could be a promising strategy to increase these groups' willingness to vocalize their support for expanding background checks for firearm sales. "
AUTHORS
Daniel W. Webster
Tara Kirk Sell
Julia A. Wolfson
Emma E. McGinty
PUBLISHED
2015 in Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

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Effects of Permit-to-Purchase Laws on State-Level Firearm Murder Rates
"© 2017, International Atlantic Economic Society. The purpose of the present study is to determine if permit-to-purchase laws are significantly related to firearm murder rates. There has been very little research done on the effect of this particular gun control measure on crime.

The present study differs from prior research in two ways. First, a large longitudinal data set is used, and data for all 50 states for the period 1980 to 2011 are examined. Second, a fixed effects model, controlling for both state and year effects is used.

Results suggest that permit-to-purchase laws have no statistically-significant effect on state-level firearm murder rates. These results are contrary to the results found in prior studies on this topic."
AUTHOR
Mark Gius
PUBLISHED
2017 in Atlantic Economic Journal

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The effect of gun ownership rates on homicide rates: A state-level analysis
"The purpose of th epresent study is to examine the link between gun ownership rates and homicide rates. Using a very large cross-sectional survey dataset in order to obtain estimates for household-level gun ownership rates, and state-level data on homicides, the results indicate that gun ownership rates have a statistically significant and positive effect on the homicide rates at the 10% significance level. This result suggests that efforts to restrict access to firearms may reduce murders."
AUTHOR
Mark Gius
PUBLISHED
2009 in Applied Economics Letters

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Legal status and source of offenders' firearms in states with the least stringent criteria for gun ownership
"Background: Gun possession by high-risk individuals presents a serious threat to public safety. U.S. federal law establishes minimum criteria for legal purchase and possession of firearms; many states have laws disqualifying additional categories for illegal possession.

Methods: We used data from a national survey of state prison inmates to calculate: 1) the proportion of offenders, incarcerated for crimes committed with firearms in 13 states with the least restrictive firearm purchase and possession laws, who would have been prohibited if their states had stricter gun laws; and 2) the source of gun acquisition for offenders who were and were not legally permitted to purchase and possess firearms.

Results: Nearly three of ten gun offenders (73 of 253 or 28.9%) were legal gun possessors but would have been prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms when committing their most recent offense if their states had stricter prohibitions. Offenders who were already prohibited under current law acquired their gun from a licensed dealer, where a background check is required, five times less often than offenders who were not prohibited (3.9% vs. 19.9%; χ(2)=13.31; p≤0.001). Nearly all (96.1%) offenders who were legally prohibited, acquired their gun from a supplier not required to conduct a background check.

Conclusions: Stricter gun ownership laws would have made firearm possession illegal for many state prison inmates who used a gun to commit a crime. Requiring all gun sales to be subject to a background check would make it more difficult for these offenders to obtain guns.

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AUTHORS
Katherine A Vittes
Daniel W Webster
Jon S Vernick
PUBLISHED
2012 in Injury Prevention

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Homicide and suicide rates associated with implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.
"Context: In February 1994, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act established a nationwide requirement that licensed firearms dealers observe a waiting period and initiate a background check for handgun sales. The effects of this act have not been analyzed.

Objective: To determine whether implementation of the Brady Act was associated with reductions in homicide and suicide rates.

Design And Setting: Analysis of vital statistics data in the United States for 1985 through 1997 from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Main Outcome Measures: Total and firearm homicide and suicide rates per 100,000 adults (>/=21 years and >/=55 years) and proportion of homicides and suicides resulting from firearms were calculated by state and year. Controlling for population age, race, poverty and income levels, urban residence, and alcohol consumption, the 32 "treatment" states directly affected by the Brady Act requirements were compared with the 18 "control" states and the District of Columbia, which had equivalent legislation already in place.

Results: Changes in rates of homicide and suicide for treatment and control states were not significantly different, except for firearm suicides among persons aged 55 years or older (-0.92 per 100,000; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.43 to -0.42). This reduction in suicides for persons aged 55 years or older was much stronger in states that had instituted both waiting periods and background checks (-1.03 per 100,000; 95% CI, -1.58 to -0.47) than in states that only changed background check requirements (-0.17 per 100,000; 95% CI, -1.09 to 0.75).

Conclusions: Based on the assumption that the greatest reductions in fatal violence would be within states that were required to institute waiting periods and background checks, implementation of the Brady Act appears to have been associated with reductions in the firearm suicide rate for persons aged 55 years or older but not with reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates. However, the pattern of implementation of the Brady Act does not permit a reliable analysis of a potential effect of reductions in the flow of guns from treatment-state gun dealers into secondary markets. JAMA. 2000;284:585-591

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AUTHORS
J Ludwig
P J Cook
PUBLISHED
2000 in JAMA

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Firearm Violence and Public Health: Limiting the Availability of Guns
"Firearm violence has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and represents a public health emergency since it accounts for 20 percent of all injury deaths and is second only to motor vehicle accidents as a cause of fatal injury. Firearm violence cost an estimated $19 billion in 1990, in addition to direct health care costs, and such violence disproportionately affects young people. In particular, homicide is the leading cause of death for young black men between 15 and 34 years of age and the second overall leading cause of death for individuals between 15 and 24 years of age. Suicide rates for both children and adolescents have more than doubled over the past 30 years, due primarily to increased firearms use. Gun control laws, such as the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, are useful but will not totally prevent the use of guns by criminals and others who are legally prohibited from owning guns. The following more stringent gun control measures should be considered: implementing a national licensing system for firearms possession; limiting the manufacture, sale, and distribution of military-style assault weapons; increasing taxes on firearms and ammunition; tightening Federal licensing requirements for gun dealers; limiting the number of guns an individual can buy; implementing a gun return program; implementing a firearm fatality and injury reporting system; and educating the public about the dangers of guns. Newspaper clippings are included that reflect the effects of firearm violence and the debate over gun control. 15 references"
AUTHOR
Jeremiah A. Barondess
PUBLISHED
in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association

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Missing the target: a comparison of buyback and fatality related guns
"Objectives: To determine whether the firearms recovered in buyback programs in a large urban community are the types most closely associated with firearm fatalities in the same geographic area.

Methods: The type, caliber, and manufacturer of 941 handguns recovered in Milwaukee County 1994–96 buyback programs were compared with 369 homicide related and 125 suicide related handguns used in Milwaukee during 1994–97.

Results: Buyback handguns differed substantially from those used in homicide and suicide. One third of buyback handguns were semiautomatic pistols versus two thirds of homicide related handguns (p<0.001) and 40% of suicide related handguns (p=NS). Over 75% of buyback handguns were small caliber compared with 24% of homicide and 32% of suicide handguns (p<0.001). The top two manufacturers of buyback handguns represented 30% of these guns but only 5% of fatality related handguns (p<0.001). Companies currently out of business manufactured 15% of buyback handguns versus 7% of fatality related handguns (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Handguns recovered in buyback programs are not the types most commonly linked to firearm homicides and suicides. Although buyback programs may increase awareness of firearm violence, limited resources for firearm injury prevention may be better spent in other ways."
AUTHOR
E M Kuhn
PUBLISHED
2002 in Injury Prevention

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Missing the target: a comparison of buyback and fatality related guns.
"Objectives: To determine whether the firearms recovered in buyback programs in a large urban community are the types most closely associated with firearm fatalities in the same geographic area.

Methods: The type, caliber, and manufacturer of 941 handguns recovered in Milwaukee County 1994-96 buyback programs were compared with 369 homicide related and 125 suicide related handguns used in Milwaukee during 1994-97.

Results: Buyback handguns differed substantially from those used in homicide and suicide. One third of buyback handguns were semiautomatic pistols versus two thirds of homicide related handguns (p<0.001) and 40% of suicide related handguns (p=NS). Over 75% of buyback handguns were small caliber compared with 24% of homicide and 32% of suicide handguns (p<0.001). The top two manufacturers of buyback handguns represented 30% of these guns but only 5% of fatality related handguns (p<0.001). Companies currently out of business manufactured 15% of buyback handguns versus 7% of fatality related handguns (p<0.001).

Conclusions: Handguns recovered in buyback programs are not the types most commonly linked to firearm homicides and suicides. Although buyback programs may increase awareness of firearm violence, limited resources for firearm injury prevention may be better spent in other ways.

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AUTHORS
S W Hargarten
E M Kuhn
G J Wintemute
M E O'Brien
C L Nie
R L Withers
PUBLISHED
2002 in Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention

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Effects of restrictive licensing of handguns on homicide and suicide in the District of Columbia.
"Background: Whether restricting access to handguns will reduce firearm-related homicides and suicides is currently a matter of intense debate. In 1976 the District of Columbia adopted a law that banned the purchase, sale, transfer, or possession of handguns by civilians. We evaluated the effect of implementing this law on the frequency of homicides and suicides.

Methods: Homicides and suicides committed from 1968 through 1987 were classified according to place of occurrence (within the District of Columbia or in adjacent metropolitan areas where the law did not apply), cause (homicide or suicide), mechanism of death (firearms or other means), and time of occurrence (before or after the implementation of the law). The number of suicides and homicides was calculated for each month during the study period, and differences between the mean monthly totals before and after the law went into effect were estimated.

Results: In Washington, D.C., the adoption of the gun-licensing law coincided with an abrupt decline in homicides by firearms (a reduction of 3.3 per month, or 25 percent) and suicides by firearms (reduction, 0.6 per month, or 23 percent). No similar reductions were observed in the number of homicides or suicides committed by other means, nor were there similar reductions in the adjacent metropolitan areas in Maryland and Virginia. There were also no increases in homicides or suicides by other methods, as would be expected if equally lethal means were substituted for handguns.

Conclusions: Restrictive licensing of handguns was associated with a prompt decline in homicides and suicides by firearms in the District of Columbia. No such decline was observed for homicides or suicides in which guns were not used, and no decline was seen in adjacent metropolitan areas where restrictive licensing did not apply. Our data suggest that restrictions on access to guns in the District of Columbia prevented an average of 47 deaths each year after the law was implemented.

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AUTHORS
T J Cottey
D McDowall
B Wiersema
C Loftin
PUBLISHED
1991 in The New England journal of medicine

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Deaths from violence in North Carolina, 2004: how deaths differ in females and males.
"Objective: To identify gender differences in violent deaths in terms of incidence, circumstances, and methods of death.

Design: Analysis of surveillance data.

Setting: North Carolina, a state of 8.6 million residents on the eastern seaboard of the US.

Subjects: 1674 North Carolina residents who died from violence in the state during 2004.

Methods: Information on violent deaths was collected by the North Carolina Violent Death Reporting System using data from death certificates, medical examiner reports, and law enforcement agency incidence reports.

Results: Suicide and homicide rates were lower for females than males. For suicides, females were more likely than males to have a diagnosis of depression (55% v 36%), a current mental health problem (66% v 42%), or a history of suicide attempts (25% v 13%). Firearms were the sole method of suicide in 65% of males and 42% of females. Poisonings were more common in female than male suicides (37% v 12%). Male and female homicide victims were most likely to die from a handgun or a sharp instrument. Fifty seven percent of female homicides involved intimate partner violence, compared with 13% of male homicides. Among female homicides involving intimate partner violence, 78% occurred in the woman's home. White females had a higher rate of suicide than African-American females, but African-American females had a higher rate of homicide than white females.

Conclusions: The incidence, circumstances, and methods of fatal violence differ greatly between females and males. These differences should be taken into account in the development of violence prevention efforts.

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AUTHORS
C Sanford
S L Martin
P J Cook
A E Waller
Z Demissie
S W Marshall et al
PUBLISHED
2006 in Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention

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Association between handgun purchase and mortality from firearm injury.
"Objective: To determine the association between mortality from violent or firearm related injury and previous handgun purchase.

Methods: Case-control study of 213 466 Californians ages 21 and older who died in 1998; cases were the 4728 violent or firearm related injury deaths, with subsets by specific cause and means of death, and controls were the 208 738 non-injury deaths. The exposure of interest was the purchase of a handgun during 1996-98. The main outcome measure was the odds ratio for handgun purchase, adjusted for age, sex, race, education, and marital status.

Results: Handgun purchase was more common among persons dying from suicide (odds ratio (OR) 6.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.7 to 8.1) or homicide (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.6 to 3.7), and particularly among those dying from gun suicide (OR 12.5; 95% CI 10.4 to 15.0) or gun homicide (OR 3.3; 95% CI 2.1 to 5.3), than among controls. No such differences were seen for non-gun suicide or homicide. Among women, those dying from gun suicide were much more likely than controls to have purchased a handgun (OR 109.8; 95% CI 61.6 to 195.7). Handgun purchasers accounted for less than 1% of the study population but 2.4% of gun homicides, 14.2% of gun suicides, and 16.7% of unintentional gun deaths. Gun suicide made up 18.9% of deaths among purchasers but only 0.6% of deaths among non-purchasers.

Conclusion: Among adults who died in California in 1998, those dying from violence were more likely than those dying from non-injury causes to have purchased a handgun.

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AUTHORS
M P Romero
M A Wright
G J Wintemute
K M Grassel
PUBLISHED

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An evaluation of state firearm regulations and homicide and suicide death rates
"Objective: To determine if any of five different state gun laws were associated with firearm mortality: (1) “shall issue” laws permitting an individual to carry a concealed weapon unless restricted by another statute; (2) a minimum age of 21 years for handgun purchase; (3) a minimum age of 21 years for private handgun possession; (4) one gun a month laws which restrict handgun purchase frequency; and (5) junk gun laws which ban the sale of certain cheaply constructed handguns.

Design: A cross sectional time series study of firearm mortality from 1979 to 1998.

Setting: All 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Subjects: All residents of the United States.

Main outcome measures: Firearm homicides, all homicides, firearm suicides, and all suicides.

Results: When a “shall issue” law was present, the rate of firearm homicides was greater, RR 1.11 (95% confidence interval 0.99 to 1.24), than when the law was not present, as was the rate of all homicides, RR 1.08 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.17), although this was not statistically significant. No law was associated with a statistically significant decrease in the rates of firearm homicides or total homicides. No law was associated with a statistically significant change in firearm suicide rates.

Conclusion: A “shall issue” law that eliminates most restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon may be associated with increased firearm homicide rates. No law was associated with a statistically significant reduction in firearm homicide or suicide rates."
AUTHOR
M Rosengart
PUBLISHED
2005 in Injury Prevention

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An evaluation of state firearm regulations and homicide and suicide death rates.
"Objective: To determine if any of five different state gun laws were associated with firearm mortality: (1) "shall issue" laws permitting an individual to carry a concealed weapon unless restricted by another statute; (2) a minimum age of 21 years for handgun purchase; (3) a minimum age of 21 years for private handgun possession; (4) one gun a month laws which restrict handgun purchase frequency; and (5) junk gun laws which ban the sale of certain cheaply constructed handguns.

Design: A cross sectional time series study of firearm mortality from 1979 to 1998.

Setting: All 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Subjects: All residents of the United States.

Main Outcome Measures: Firearm homicides, all homicides, firearm suicides, and all suicides.

Results: When a "shall issue" law was present, the rate of firearm homicides was greater, RR 1.11 (95% confidence interval 0.99 to 1.24), than when the law was not present, as was the rate of all homicides, RR 1.08 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.17), although this was not statistically significant. No law was associated with a statistically significant decrease in the rates of firearm homicides or total homicides. No law was associated with a statistically significant change in firearm suicide rates.

Conclusion: A "shall issue" law that eliminates most restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon may be associated with increased firearm homicide rates. No law was associated with a statistically significant reduction in firearm homicide or suicide rates.

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AUTHORS
F Rivara
M Rosengart
A Nathens
R Maier
P Heagerty
P Cummings
PUBLISHED
2005 in Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention

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Examining the relationship between the prevalence of guns and homicide rates in the USA using a new and improved state-level gun ownership proxy
"Determining the relationship between gun ownership levels and firearm homicide rates is critical to inform public health policy. Previous research has shown that state-level gun ownership, as measured by a widely used proxy, is positively associated with firearm homicide rates. A newly developed proxy measure that incorporates the hunting license rate in addition to the proportion of firearm suicides correlates more highly with state-level gun ownership. To corroborate previous research, we used this new proxy to estimate the association of state-level gun ownership with total, firearm, and non-firearm homicides. Using state-specific data for the years 1981-2010, we modelled these rates as a function of gun ownership level, controlling for potential confounding factors. We used a negative binomial regression model and accounted for clustering of observations among states. We found that state-level gun ownership as measured by the new proxy, is significantly associated with firearm and total homicides but not with non-firearm homicides."
AUTHORS
Charles King
Craig S. Ross
Michael Siegel
PUBLISHED
2014 in Injury Prevention

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QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Do assault weapons bans reduce mass shootings?
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Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce firearm suicides?
5 studies
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Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce mass shootings?
1 study
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce total suicides?
2 studies
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce violent crime?
6 studies
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Do background checks on mental illness for firearm purchases reduce total suicides?
1 study
Submitted by: LCheng 132

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