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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Johns Hopkins: Study Shows Strong Support for Gun Licensing Policies Among Current Gun Owners

A new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found strong support for handgun purchaser licensing laws among adults, including gun owners, living in states with such laws.

The study found that 88 percent of adults living in states with licensing supported the policy compared with 74 percent in states without the law. Among gun owners, 77 percent of gun owners living in states with licensing supported the policy versus 59 percent of gun owners in states without licensing.

The paper was published in the September issue of Injury Prevention.

A research team led by Dr. Cassandra Crifasi, assistant professor and deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, analyzed survey responses from four waves of public opinion polling data collected between 2013 and 2019. Researchers studied differences in support among gun owners and non-gun owners, and adults living in states with and without handgun purchaser licensing policies.

Handgun purchaser licensing laws require prospective gun owners to apply to state or local law enforcement to obtain a license. Despite widespread public support for licensing laws, including among a majority of current gun owners, and research from the Center that shows handgun purchaser licensing laws reduce homicides and suicides, only nine states (Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina) and the District of Columbia currently require prospective handgun purchasers to obtain a license.

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