As the debate surrounding gun control continues (and stalls) in the U.S., a common question emerges: how effective are gun control laws?
According to a new study, the enforcement of certain gun laws could reduce fatalities by as much as 90%. The research, published in The Lancet this week, was aimed at identifying which types of legislation are effective in reducing gun deaths.
Lead researcher Bindu Kalesan, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University, and his team concluded that three specific types of laws may drastically lower total gun fatalities: universal background checks on all weapons purchases, universal background checks on all ammunition purchases, and firearm identification, or matching bullets to the specific gun used.
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Kalesan's team looked at the total gun-related deaths in every state and the laws that existed in each state, 25 in total. Nine of these laws were connected with lowered gun deaths, universal background checks being the most significant means of preventing gun fatalities.
As reported by CNN, background checks for weapons purchases could reduce deaths by 39% and background checks for ammunition purchases could lower the gun death rate by 18%. The team then took this data to make projections if the laws were enforced on the federal level.
By their estimates, federal background checks for weapons purchases could reduce the death rate by 57%; 81% for ammunition purchases; and 83% for firearm identification.
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