Back to Collections

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.

More ways to engage:
- Add your organization's content to this collection.
- Easily share this collection on your website or app.

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

Search this collection

Clear all

9 results found

reorder grid_view

Visualizing Firearm Mortality and Law Effects: An Interactive Web-Based Tool

February 23, 2023

The Firearm Law Effects and Mortality Explorer is designed to provide users with information about the distribution of firearm deaths across states and demographic subgroups. In addition, it allows users to explore how those deaths might be affected by the implementation of a set of commonly enacted state firearm laws using estimates of those effects produced by the RAND research team. In the documentation that accompanies the tool, the research team describes the data sources used to produce the visualizations in the tool, the assumptions underlying the visualizations, and the statistical models that produce the law effect estimates the visualizations depict.

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.

Suggestions for Estimating the Effects of State Gun Policies: Commentary on Four Methodological Problems in the Current Literature

February 15, 2022

Research on gun policy topics has often been controversial, partly because different researchers studying the same questions—and typically using the same or similar data sets—have often reported contradictory findings, which leads to confusion about the merits of the policy being studied. One potential explanation is that different researchers may be using methods that are more or less appropriate to the gun policy topics they are investigating.In this report, part of the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative, the authors discuss four common methodological problems that they observed in the literature evaluating gun policies and offer suggestions for how future research on gun policies could be improved. In presenting these ideas, the authors hope to improve awareness of some of the weaknesses with commonly used methods for estimating gun policy effects, stimulate debate about how best to address some of these limitations, and encourage reviewers of research to advocate for stronger methods prior to accepting papers for publication.

The Magnitude and Sources of Disagreement Among Gun Policy Experts, Second Edition

November 30, 2021

The effects of firearm policies, though frequently debated, have historically received less-rigorous scientific evaluation than have the effects of other policies affecting public safety, health, and recreation. Despite improvements in recent years, there is still limited evidence of how some gun policies that are frequently proposed or enacted in the United States are likely to affect important outcomes (such as firearm homicides, property crime, and the right to bear arms). In areas without strong scientific evidence, policymakers and the public rely heavily on what policy advocates or social scientists believe the effects are most likely to be.In this report, part of the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative, RAND researchers describe the combined results from two fieldings (2016 and 2020) of a survey of gun policy experts. Respondents were asked to estimate the likely effects of 19 gun policies on ten outcomes. The researchers use these and other responses to establish the diversity of beliefs among gun policy experts, assess where experts are in more or less agreement on the effects of gun laws, and evaluate whether differences in the policies favored by experts result from differences in experts' assumptions about the policies' effects or differences in experts' policy objectives. The analysis suggests that experts on different sides of the gun policy debate share some objectives but disagree on which policies will achieve those objectives. Therefore, collecting stronger evidence about the true effects of policies is, the researchers believe, a necessary step toward building greater consensus on which policies to pursue.

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).

Mass Shootings: Definitions and Trends

January 1, 2018

There is no standard definition of what constitutes a mass shooting. Media outlets, academic researchers, and law enforcement agencies frequently use different definitions when discussing mass shootings, leading to different assessments of how frequently mass shootings occur and whether they are more common now than they were a decade or two ago. 

Firearm and Ammunition Taxes

January 1, 2018

Taxation has been a standard policy lever used to limit the harms associated with potentially dangerous goods (e.g., cigarettes, alcohol, and soda or sugary beverages). It has rarely been used to manage risks associated with gun violence, however. Although several states and localities have imposed special taxes on firearms and ammunition, these have typically been used to generate revenue, not as a strategy for reducing access to firearms or limiting gun crimes. Therefore, there is little empirical evidence to indicate how taxation would influence firearm-related outcomes, such as violent crime, suicide, self-defense, or sales of firearms.

In Search of Common Ground: Expert Judgments on Gun Policy Effects

January 1, 2018

Both groups of experts we surveyed favored laws that they believed would reduce homicides and suicides. Indeed, these groups appeared to be in complete agreement that reducing deaths should be the primary objective of gun policies. What they disagreed on was which laws would have those effects.