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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Identifies Three State Laws That Can Reduce Gun Deaths

A nationwide study led by Boston University (BU) researchers, including Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) Dean Sandro Galea, that analyzed the impact of gun-control laws in the U.S. found that just 9 of 25 state laws are effective in reducing firearm deaths.

The research,  published in The Lancet, suggests that three laws implemented in some states could reduce gun deaths by more than 80 percent if they were implemented nationwide. Laws requiring firearm identification through ballistic imprinting or microstamping were found to reduce the projected mortality risk by 84 percent; ammunition background checks by 82 percent; and universal background checks for all gun purchases by 61 percent.

Federal implementation of all three laws would be projected to reduce the national firearm death rate — 10.1 per 100,000 people in 2010 — to 0.16 per 100,000, the study says.

“Very few of the existing state-specific firearms laws are associated with reduced mortality, and this evidence underscores the importance of focusing on relevant and effective firearms legislation,” said senior study author Dr. Galea. “Implementing universal background checks for the purchase of firearms or ammunition, and firearm identification nationally could substantially reduce mortality in the U.S.”

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