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I want to make sure you saw the new research out last week that analyzed the relationship between 10 state-level firearm laws on homicide and suicide rates over a 26-year period across 50 states. Among other findings, researchers at Boston University School of Public Health found that states that require a background check on all gun sales had homicide rates 10 percent lower than states without them.
The study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, is the first to directly compare a set of state gun laws in one statistical model. Its results underscore that keeping guns out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves or others—through policies like requiring background checks on all gun sales—is an effective way to curb gun violence.
Key findings included:
Background checks are the foundation of any effective effort to reduce gun violence and prior studies have shown them to be associated with lower rates of gun homicides, suicides and gun trafficking in states that require them for all handgun sales.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 240-190 in favor of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require background checks on all gun sales, including unlicensed sales arranged online and at gun shows. This study offers further proof that this is a policy that deserves a vote in the Senate.
For more information, or to schedule an interview with a research or policy expert, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Did you know?
The US gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries.
Grinshteyn, E. and Hemenway, D. “Violent Death Rates in the US Compared to Those of the Other High-income Countries, 2015.” Preventive Medicine. (2019). https://bit.ly/3kyfsSs
Last updated: 1.7.2021