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December 6, 2000

Impact of the Brady Act on Homicide and Suicide Rates

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2000;284(21):2718-2721. doi:10.1001/jama.284.21.2717

To the Editor: When the Brady Act was being debated, the National Rifle Association (NRA) cited a survey1 showing that only 16% of criminals get their guns from licensed dealers. Brady Act supporters responded that the act would disarm these criminals.

After the act took effect, and with almost no prosecutions for felonious attempts to obtain guns, President Clinton claimed that the law worked and should be expanded to cover gun shows, where he mistakenly thought the NRA had said criminals got their guns. Actually, the same survey1 found that less than 0.5% of criminals obtained guns from gun shows.

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