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.
2
YES ANSWERS
2
NO ANSWERS
0
MIXED RESULTS ANSWERS
3
INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE ANSWERS
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NO DATA ON ANSWER


Chart summary of 7 studies examining this question

All answers are assigned by State of K users. The label Mixed means 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 label is often applied 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). The label Insuff. Evidence means that a study found there was insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion regarding the question. The label No Data means that State of K wasn't able to identify the study's response to the question based on the information that was available. This label is often applied when the person creating the list does not have access to the full text and the answer isn't clear from the abstract.

All labels of Literature Reviews and Highly Regarded Source are assigned by State of K. The label Highly Regarded Source, as applied to journals, is a label assigned to the top 20 journals (as measured by the h-index) in various subcategories as classified and reported by Google Scholar. As applied to NGOs, the label is assigned to US NGOs ranked by the TTCSP Global Go To Think Tank Index Reports. The information contained in a source that is labelled "highly regarded" is not necessarily more accurate than information contained in a source without that label.


QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Do assault weapons bans reduce mass shootings?
2 studies
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Do assault weapons bans reduce mass shootings?
2 studies
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Do assault weapons bans reduce mass shootings?
2 studies
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Add question
What additional question do you want someone who searches for "Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce firearm homicides" to consider?

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."
HIGHLY REGARDED SOURCE
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
Q1
FUNDERS
Joyce Foundation
Insufficient Evidence
Insufficient Evidence
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."
HIGHLY REGARDED SOURCE
AUTHORS
Kara E. Rudolph
Cassandra Crifasi
Daniel Webster
Jon S. Vernick
Alvaro Castillo-Carniglia
Rose M.C. Kagawa et al
PUBLISHED
2018 in Epidemiology
Q1
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
SUSPECT SOURCE
Insufficient Evidence
Insufficient Evidence
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."
HIGHLY REGARDED SOURCE
AUTHORS
Anantachai Panjamapirom
Bisakha Sen
PUBLISHED
2012 in Preventive Medicine
Q1
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"
HIGHLY REGARDED SOURCE
AUTHORS
Philip J. Cook
Jens Ludwig
PUBLISHED
2000 in JAMA
Q1
Insufficient Evidence
Insufficient Evidence







ADDITIONAL STUDIES TO CONSIDER ADDING TO LIST
State of K periodically recommends additional studies to add to this list, both newly published and newly discovered. There are none for now, but check back another time.


QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Do assault weapons bans reduce mass shootings?
2 studies
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Do assault weapons bans reduce mass shootings?
2 studies
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Do assault weapons bans reduce mass shootings?
2 studies
Submitted by: LCheng 132

Add question
What additional question do you want someone who searches for "Do background checks for firearm purchases reduce firearm homicides" to consider?