Gun Purchase Background Checks Useless

April 3, 2019

by John McClaughry

Michael Bielawski of True North Reports reported last week on a study by Johns Hopkins University and the University of California at Davis, that determined that California’s strict gun control laws had no measurable impact on gun violence or deaths in the state.

The study examined the decade after the state’s 1991 implementation of comprehensive background checks. The act required that all gun sales including those between private individuals must go through a licensed dealer. Another provision was that shotgun and rifle purchasers must wait for 15 days while the background check is processed.

Researchers compared annual gun suicide and homicide rates for the subsequent decade with data from another 32 states which didn’t have such gun legislation. The conclusion from the study was that there was “no change in the rates of either cause of death [homicide or suicide] from firearms through 2000.”

The study’s summary said “The simultaneous implementation of [these] policies was not associated with a net change in the firearm homicide rate over the ensuing 10 years in California. The decrease in firearm suicides in California was similar to the decrease in non-firearm suicides in that state. Results were robust across multiple model specifications and methods.”

Writes Bielawski, “The findings are contrary to the popular notion among gun control advocates that universal background checks are a life-saving tool.”

Alas, no amount of evidence seeps through to Vermont’s mindless gun control activists.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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