Effectiveness of Firearm Restriction, Background Checks, and Licensing Laws in Reducing Gun Violence

Zeoli, A. M., Mccourt, A. D., & Paruk, J. K.


We present the rationale behind four types of laws that restrict access to firearms for those who are deemed to be a high risk for future gun violence and two types of laws that implement firearm purchase prohibitions. We also present evidence on the effectiveness of these laws. Broadly, these are laws that restrict access for domestic violence abusers, individuals convicted of misdemeanor violence, and individuals at high risk of violence against themselves or others. We briefly discuss relinquishment of firearms by those who are newly restricted, but we focus mainly on how purchase restrictions are implemented by the federal government and across states. Extant research shows that well-implemented firearm policy that is based on evidence-based risk factors can be effective in reducing firearm injury.