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This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgow licensed under CC 2.0

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Have U.S. Gun Buyback Programs Misfired?

September 6, 2023

There are 1.2 guns for every person in the United States, and the total number of firearms in circulation is estimated to be over 393 million. Gun violence is the leading cause of death among young men aged 15–19, and firearms are involved in 51 percent of completed suicides and 73 percent of all homicides. The link between the supply of firearms and gun violence has been the subject of intense debate among policymakers and academics studying the economics of crime. To limit the supply of firearms in circulation, a number of U.S. cities have implemented gun buyback programs (GBPs). GBPs use public funds to purchase civilians' privately owned firearms. We examined the effect of GBPs and found no evidence that they reduce gun crime.