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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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The Science of Gun Policy: A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States, Third Edition

January 17, 2023

In this report, part of the RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative, researchers seek objective information about what scientific literature reveals about the likely effects of various gun laws. In the third edition of this report, the authors incorporate more-recent research in their synthesis of the available scientific data regarding the effects of 18 state firearm policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, suicides, the gun industry, defensive gun use, and other outcomes. By highlighting where scientific evidence is accumulating, the authors hope to build consensus around a shared set of facts that have been established through a transparent, nonpartisan, and impartial review process. In so doing, they also illuminate areas in which more and better information could make important contributions to establishing fair and effective gun policies.

Personal Firearm Storage in the United States: Recent Estimates, Patterns, and Effectiveness of Interventions

July 11, 2022

One topic on which public health and gun rights advocates agree is that gun owners should store firearms safely, preventing unauthorized individuals from accessing them. Such practices may prevent unintentional firearm deaths and injuries among children and could even prevent suicide.This essay describes what safe storage actually means and presents estimates of U.S. gun owners' storage practices; it also presents research on select populations of interest. It additionally summarizes research on the effectiveness of interventions that seek to change firearm storage practices.

The Science of Gun Policy: A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States, Second Edition

April 22, 2020

In this report, part of the RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative, researchers seek objective information about what the scientific literature reveals about the likely effects of various gun laws. In this second edition of an earlier work, the authors add five gun policies to the 13 examined in the original analysis and expand the study time frame to incorporate a larger body of research. With those adjustments, the authors synthesize the available scientific data on the effects of 18 policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, the gun industry, defensive gun use, and other outcomes. By highlighting where scientific evidence is accumulating, the authors hope to build consensus around a shared set of facts that have been established through a transparent, nonpartisan, and impartial review process. In so doing, they also illuminate areas where more and better information could make important contributions to establishing fair and effective gun policies.

The Science of Gun Policy: A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States

March 2, 2018

The RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative is a unique attempt to systematically and transparently assess available scientific evidence on the real effects of gun laws and policies. Our goal is to create resources where policymakers and the general public can access unbiased information that informs and enables the development of fair and effective policies. Good gun policies in the United States require consideration of many factors, including the law and constitutional rights, the interests of various stakeholder groups, and information about the likely effects of different policies on a range of outcomes. This report seeks to provide the third factor—objective information about what the scientific literature examining gun policies can tell us about the likely effects of those policies. This report synthesizes the available scientific evidence on the effects of various gun policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, the gun industry, participation in hunting and sport shooting, and other outcomes.1 It builds and expands on earlier comprehensive reviews of scientific evidence on gun policy conducted more than a decade ago by the National Research Council (NRC) (see NRC, 2004) and the Community Preventive Services Task Force (see Hahn et al., 2005).

The Relationship Between Firearm Availability and Suicide

October 24, 2017

Empirical research on the causal effects of firearm availability on the risk of suicide is consistent with the claim that firearms increase suicide risk, but this research cannot yet rule out some other explanations for observed associations between guns and suicide. There are, however, theoretical or logical arguments for believing firearms elevate suicide risk that are sufficiently compelling that individuals and policymakers might reasonably choose to assume that gun availability does increase the risk of suicide.