The United States is among the global leaders in firearm injury deaths. In 2016, an estimated 37 000 firearm-related deaths occurred in the United States, ranking second only to Brazil.1 Although not a new development, the recent number of public mass shootings, particularly those occurring on school campuses, has increased support for stronger firearm laws and many state lawmakers have voted for laws designed to keep firearms from dangerous individuals. Federal and state laws prohibit some high-risk individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms due to convictions for serious crimes, restraining orders, or involuntary commitments issued by judges. Courts have consistently found these laws to be constitutional, and some have been evaluated in rigorous research to determine their effectiveness. This body of research suggests that laws restricting access to firearms for individuals at high risk of the future commission of violence, based on their previous behaviors, may reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths. Importantly, not all states have these laws; thus, there remain opportunities for enactment and implementation of these laws with the goal of further reducing firearm violence.
Zeoli AM, Webster DW. Firearm Policies That Work. JAMA. 2019;321(10):937–938. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.0706
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