Study: Background checks and gun permits lead to less gun homicides

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Background checks and permits help reduce gun deaths, according to the studied published in the JAMA Internal Medicine medical journal on Nov. 14. (Photo: fbi.gov)

Findings from a study released earlier this month say background checks and permits are effective in reducing gun homicides.

Researchers published the study in the JAMA Internal Medicine medical journal. The study asked, “What are the effects of firearm laws on firearm homicides in the United States?”

The study looked at peer-reviewed articles from 1970 to 2016 that focus on the relationship between firearm laws and firearm homicides. They split gun laws into five categories.  Laws that “(1) curb gun trafficking, (2) strengthen background checks, (3) improve child safety, (4) ban military-style assault weapons, and (5) restrict firearms in public places and leniency in firearm carrying.”

After crunching the data, the researchers say only one of those five categories saw an association between the gun law and reduced gun deaths.

“Laws that strengthen background checks and permit-to-purchase seemed to decrease firearm homicide rates,” reads the findings. “Specific laws directed at firearm trafficking, improving child safety, or the banning of military-style assault weapons were not associated with changes in firearm homicide rates.”

The results for whether laws restricting guns in public places and leniency in gun carrying had mixed evidence.

“High-quality research is important to further evaluate the effectiveness of these laws,” write the researchers in their conclusion. “Legislation is just 1 part of a multipronged approach that will be necessary to decrease firearm homicides in the United States.”