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October 11, 2000

Would Prevention of Gun Carrying Reduce US Homicide Rates?

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(14):1788-1789. doi:10.1001/jama.284.14.1783

To the Editor: Dr Sherman extrapolated from the finding of Dr Villaveces and colleagues2 that banning the carrying of firearms reduced homicide rates in 2 Colombian cities to the conclusion that a similar policy should be instituted in the United States. Villaveces et al2 noted that indiscriminate banning of firearm carrying, enforced with intrusive police measures such as checkpoints and search and seizures during traffic stops, may not have a similar effect in cities where homicides are less common. Furthermore, constitutional restrictions on police search procedures would prevent transferring the methods used in Cali and Bogotá to any city in the United States.

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