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AL – GUN CONTROL – Gun laws in neighboring states affect state gun deaths, new evidence

New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) shows that gun laws in neighboring states have an effect on gun death rates in adjoining states. In findings published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, weaker firearm laws in neighboring states correlated with more firearm deaths within a state. This is useful information for state policymakers who sometimes have to justify and defend the need for firearm laws in their state. “Although stronger state gun policies were associated with decreased firearm deaths, the presence of permissive neighboring states undermined this protective effect,” said lead investigator Bisakha Sen, Ph.D., Blue Cross Blue Shield Endowed Chair in Health Economics, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy in the UAB School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL, U.S.. “Specifically, higher policy differences across states were associated with increased rates of total firearm deaths, suicides, and homicides, although results were statistically stronger for suicide than homicide.” The study examined 578,022 firearm deaths during the 2000 to 2017 study period. The total number of firearm-related deaths by state was extracted from the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including deaths from all intent, homicide, and suicide. The investigators identified four categories of laws that had the potential to impact interstate movement of firearms and firearm-related mortality: background checks, dealer regulations, buyer regulations, and gun trafficking laws. They further assessed the total number of laws a state had within each category.  [full article]


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