Gun Licensing Only Effective Way of Screening to Reduce Gun Homicides and Suicides: New Study

Gun Licensing Only Effective Way of Screening to Reduce Gun Homicides and Suicides: New Study

Gun Rights

A new study on gun violence prevention released Thursday has found that the pathways to keeping guns out of the hands of prohibited buyers are narrower than is currently understood. An analysis of gun homicides and suicides by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research concluded that so-called "purchaser licensing" is the only effective method of screening prospective gun owners. According to the study, Missouri’s repeal in 2007 of its handgun licensing requirements was associated with a 17 to 27 percent increase in firearm homicides through 2017 and a 16 percent increase in firearm suicides through 2012. Just nine states and the District of Columbia use some form of purchaser licensing to regulate gun purchases. There are currently three different methods generally employed by states to scrutinize prospective gun owners during or before a point of sale. Federal law, at a minimum, requires that licensed gun dealers, regardless of state of residence, conduct background checks for every purchase. This leaves open the possibility, however, for sales to proceed without a background check if they occur through an unlicensed seller. Other states have enacted what are commonly known as universal background check requirements, essentially expanding on the federal background check rules for licensed dealers to mandate that all sellers query the FBI’s criminal database. Bolstering background check requirements alone, according to the report, "[does] not decrease lethal gun violence." Just nine states and the District of Columbia use some form of purchaser licensing to regulate gun purchases. The […]

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