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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: Drs Ludwig and Cook1 conclude that the Brady Act had little impact on homicide rates, but their evaluation has many problems. First, they assume that gun laws can only reduce violence, ignoring arguments that, by denying guns to prospective crime victims, gun laws might increase violence by reducing the defensive and deterrent effects of gun ownership by victims.2,3 The authors, therefore, did not perform alternate analysis to evaluate whether the act increased the homicide rate.