Lax gun laws in neighboring states may increase firearm deaths

Lax gun laws in neighboring states may increase firearm deaths

A US study suggests strong gun control regulations reduce a state’s firearm deaths, but having neighbors with more lenient laws undermines their effect. New research suggests that one state’s lax gun laws could undo the effects of its neighbor’s stricter firearm regulations. In 2017, 39,773 people died from gun-related injuries in the United States, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control . Overall, research indicates that stronger state laws governing the sale and ownership of firearms reduce firearm-related deaths. However, some states have relatively high rates of gun deaths despite strict regulations. To investigate why this might be the case, scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the Boston University School of Public Health at Boston, MA, looked into the effects of firearm laws in neighboring states. They used the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System to obtain figures for firearm-related deaths in the 48 adjacent U.S. states from 2000 to 2017. There were 578,022 firearm deaths in total, including homicides and suicides, but excluding deaths due to shootings by police or other law enforcement agents. The scientists also searched the State Firearm Laws Database for laws in each state regarding: background checks gun dealer regulations buyer regulations gun-trafficking laws The team used the number of these laws as a proxy for gun control strength in each state. If you would like to check your registration status or register to vote, we have added some useful links at the bottom of this article. […]

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