Researchers called the study The Impact of State Firearm Laws on Homicide and Suicide Deaths in the USA, 1991–2016: a Panel Study. In it, they looked at different gun control laws across the country. They wanted to understand if these laws reduce homicide and suicide rates. In fact, the researchers controlled the study for a wide range of state-level factors.
The study determined that banning specific firearms does not reduce homicide rates. It also found that banning specific accessories, such as magazines, had no reduction in gun violence.
“Laws regulating the sale of assault weapons are unlikely to have a large impact on homicide rates, because these weapons are used in only a very small proportion of homicides,” said Michael Siegel, lead researcher, to Futurity.org. “The vast majority of firearm homicides in the United States are committed with handguns.”
The study also determined that handgun ownership does not increase homicide or suicide rates. This, of course, goes against one of the bedrock claims of anti-gun groups. They have long claimed that guns in a home dramatically increases the chances of homicide and suicide. However, the study wasn’t all good news for gun owners.
Gun Law Study Determines Two Laws Reduce Violence
While this study destroys many gun-control arguments, it also determines that two laws actually reduce homicide rates. One of these laws runs parallel with pro-gun groups that want to blame the person rather than the tool. The study shows that prohibiting those convicted of violent crime from possessing guns reduces homicide rates by 18 percent. Of course, everyone convicted of a felony is automatically banned from possessing firearms.
The other law this study pushes is universal background checks. It claims that states with universal background checks have 15 percent lower homicide rates. This, of course, is in contrast to other studies, such as one in California, that claims homicides are up 18 percent despite strict gun laws, including universal background checks. Researchers also concluded that “further research is necessary to determine whether these associations are causal ones.”