Laws designed to keep guns out the hands of criminals and those at risk of committing violence have been effective, according to an analysis in the Annual Review of Public Health.
Researchers examined 28 studies, published between 1999 and 2014, of laws and regulations that prohibit people considered high-risk for violence from acquiring firearms, both legally and on the black market.
They found that certain policies have successfully hampered access to guns for those convicted of felonies and domestic violence, including: “rigorous permit-to-purchase, comprehensive background checks, strong regulation and oversight of gun dealers, and requiring gun owners to promptly report lost or stolen firearms.”
“Mounting evidence indicates that certain laws intended to increase the accountability of firearm sellers to avoid risky transfers of firearms are effective in curtailing the diversion of guns to criminals,” researchers wrote.
One study found the policies were associated with a 10 percent drop in homicides related to intimate partner violence. Another study found that certain gun control laws mitigated the increased likelihood of violence associated with sufferers of certain mental illnesses.
“Evidence that lower levels of guns being diverted to criminals will translate into less gun violence is less robust, but it appears that rigorous (permit-to-purchase) handgun laws are protective against homicides and suicides,” the study concludes. “Future research should examine whether these laws also curtail nonlethal gun violence.”
Read the full study HERE.