New public database reveals striking differences in how guns are regulated from state to state

Handguns and bullets on a table.

"From 2014 to 2015, the United States experienced its largest annual increase in firearm deaths over the past 35 years, a 7.8 percent upturn in a single year. In 45 of the 50 states the rate of overall deaths from firearms increased and the firearm homicide rate rose in every state except West Virginia.

What did Congress do to confront this problem? Only four bills addressing firearm violence made it out of committee during the 2015-2016 congressional session. Not one was enacted.

Because of inaction on the part of the federal government, it is up to each individual state to develop its own policies to reduce gun violence. To evaluate the effectiveness of these laws, researchers and policymakers need a way to track differences in state firearm legislation over an extended time period. Previously, there was no such resource.

We have just released a new public database that tracks a wide range of firearm laws across all 50 states for the past 27 years."

Authors: Michael Siegel and Molly Pahn.

Outlet: The Conversation.

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