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Finally! 4 Simple Gun Control Laws That ‘Could’ Reduce ‘Gun Violence’ by 28%!

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It starts with a fairly simple premise: A majority of people, no matter which side of the political aisle they occupy, believe that someone with a history of violence should not be able to have a gun. This common ground between gun owners and non-gun owners is the basis for a policy platform proposed in a report out today from Tufts University School of Medicine experts, who led research into the topic, and 97percent, a bipartisan organization of gun owners and non-gun owners committed to reducing gun deaths, which funded the research. …

“We now have a research-backed package of gun safety policies, supported by non-gun owners and gun owners, that works holistically to meaningfully reduce gun deaths—while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” adds Adam Miller, co-founder of 97Percent. “The myth of an intractable divide on this issue is just that: a myth. We not only found common ground; we’ve identified solutions rooted in it that leverage gun owners’ perspective and expertise, have been proven effective, and can serve as a roadmap for gun safety moving forward.” 

There are four policies the researchers estimate could reduce overall gun-related homicides by up to 28% and gun-related suicides by 6%:

Violent misdemeanor laws. The first policy stems from the idea that people with a history of violence should not have access to a gun. Research shows that people most likely to commit firearm violence are people who have a history of violence. The problem, Siegel points out, is that under current federal law, unless someone commits a felony offense, they are not prohibited from having a gun in some states. …

Universal background checks. Logically, Siegel continues, there needs to be a way to know whether someone has a history of violence, and the only way to do that is to run a background check. In some states, when a person buys a gun, the retailer must run a point-of-purchase background check. …

Gun permit laws. A state gun permitting system has multiple benefits for gun owners, Siegel says. “Say you live in a rural area, your brother comes to visit for the weekend, and you decide to go hunting. Your brother has a gun permit but did not bring his gun, so you loan him one of yours. In some states, doing that is a felony, and you could go to jail. Under this system, you would simply verify his valid permit and you’re all set.” …

Red flag laws. The last piece of the policy addresses people who are identified as an imminent threat, such as someone who may be threatening suicide. Perhaps they legally got a gun permit, but something happens in their life to precipitate them becoming a threat to themselves or someone else. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to temporarily confiscate their gun until they are no longer a threat.

“We put a lot of due process clauses into the policy to protect the rights of gun owners and make sure this system isn’t abused,” he says. “The gun owner would have the right to a hearing, and when the order is rescinded, they would get their guns back quickly.”

— Angela Nelson in This Gun Policy Platform Could Help Reduce Gun Violence by 28%, Researchers Say


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