Stronger gun laws tied to decreased firearm homicides

November 14, 2016

Stronger firearm laws are associated with reductions in firearm homicide rates, concludes a narrative review published in the November 14 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital reviewed all available articles published in peer-reviewed journals from January 1970 to August 2016 that focused specifically on the connection between firearm homicide and firearm laws. Of the 582 abstracts found, only 34 met the criteria for inclusion. These 34 studies were weighted for quality and divided into five general categories: those that strengthened , those that curbed firearm trafficking, those that improved child safety, those banning military-style assault weapons and those restricting firearms in .

"Overall, we found evidence that stronger firearm laws are associated with decreased homicides due to firearms," says lead author Lois Lee, MD, MPH, of Boston Children's Hospital's Division of Emergency Medicine and Harvard Medical School. "Specifically, the laws that seemed to have the most effect were those that strengthened background checks and those that required a permit to purchase a firearm."

Laws that banned assault weapons, improved child safety or aimed to limit firearm trafficking had no clear effect on firearm homicide rates. Laws that aimed to restrict guns in public places had mixed results, with some studies showing such laws reduce homicides and others not finding this result. However, the researchers point to the need for larger, longer-term studies to draw conclusive results.

"One of our most important findings is the lack of high-quality research on this topic, especially in relation to the major health impact gun violence has had in this country," says co- author Eric Fleegler, MD, MPH, also of Boston Children's Division of Emergency Medicine and Harvard Medical School. "Much of the research really didn't have access to or use the highest quality data or analysis. The quality, number and time frame of these studies is very limited; many didn't study the laws over a long enough time to see the full effects of these types of laws."

Despite these limitations, the findings are consistent with a study the team conducted in 2013, which found that states with stronger firearm legislation had decreased deaths, from both homicides and suicides, compared to states with weaker firearm laws.

"Gun legislation is a very important and controversial issue right now, but our findings show that some laws, specifically those to strengthen background checks and require a permit to purchase a firearm, will not deny people the right to bear arms, but will help protect the public," says Lee. "We hope our findings will help states draft legislation that is useful and sensible to both sides of the gun issue."

The researchers also call for more federal support for gun-related research.

"When you look at other areas of injury prevention, such as motor vehicle safety, there are streams of data," says Fleegler. "There is no funding in health care for serious researchers who are trying to look at firearm data."

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tle_mgr
not rated yet Nov 14, 2016
Probably because the more criminals who have guns, the easier it is to rob you without a shoot out.
FrankInFL
not rated yet Nov 15, 2016
"Homicide" is a funny word. It just means "person dead" but it doesn't say how or why or whether that person really needed to end up dead. As Dirty Harry put it: "Nothin' wrong with people getting shot as long as it's the right people getting shot."

If "justifiable homicides" suddenly rise dramatically certain people will point to the trend and sputter "Homicide! Homicide!" They see a hammer-murder by a mugger and a homeowner defending her life and property as exactly the same thing.

That argument is nonsense as is this "study" from JAMA. We are not surprised.
ricseib
not rated yet Nov 15, 2016
New Yorks 1,000,000 new illegal gun owners..
REFUSED TO REGISTER THEIR GUNS....

One million plus new felons, all armed with scary, high capacity, media labeled assault weapons!

The deadline for New York residents to register their so called "Assault Weapons" and "High" (read standard) Capacity Magazines came and went.

An estimated million plus, formerly law abiding, gun owners have refused to comply with Cuomo and down state Democrat's naive belief that the NY Safe Act, passed in a so called emergency session of the New York legislature, could force free people to register their hard earned property.

ricseib
not rated yet Nov 15, 2016
There are over 370 "mental disorders" listed in the latest version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) The list includes "Tobacco Addiction Disorder" among other equally mundane and ridiculous so-called "mental illnesses."

If the DSM is the standard by which politicians wishes to remove our rights to own guns, then I'd guess 90% of the American people could probably be classified with a mental disorder of one kind or another.

BEWARE, BEWARE
jimsmith5893
not rated yet Nov 15, 2016

There is not a ban on research but there is a ban on advocacy for gun control. Specifically the law states "None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control" (Google public law 104-208 and look at page 245). An example of this "advocacy" that lead to this restriction is in the 1994 American Medical News interview with Dr. Katherine Christoffel, head of the "Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan", a CDC-funded organization who said: "guns are a virus that must be eradicated… They are causing an epidemic of death by gunshot, which should be treated like any epidemic…you get rid of the virus…get rid of the guns, get rid of the bullets, and you get rid of deaths." Another example is from the then head of the CDC - Mark Rosenberg - "We need to revolutionize the

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