Study: Gun-free zones have no measurable effect on violence

U.S.

Salesman John Licata demonstrates a competition shooting gun at SP firearms on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Hempstead, New York. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)

(NewsNation) — An updated study found that gun-free zones neither decrease nor increase gun violence in areas where they’ve been adopted.

The study, done by The Rand Corporation in 2018 and updated in 2020, examined eight areas of firearm use: defensive gun use, gun industry outcomes, hunting and recreation, mass shootings, officer-involved shooting, suicide, unintentional injuries and deaths, and violent crime.

Rand’s study maintains it found “no qualifying studies showing that gun-free zones decreased any of the eight outcomes we investigated.”

Gun-free zones establish a legal foundation for imposing screening measures, such as bag checks at sporting events or metal detectors at some schools, that can be used to ensure that fewer or no guns are present in the location, according to the study.

A New York state law that took effect Thursday designated many highly-populated areas such as schools, houses of worship, polling places, homeless shelters, theaters, subways and mass transit as “sensitive spaces.” This means no guns are allowed, even with a concealed carry license. The City Council designated Times Square as a sensitive location on Tuesday, adding it to the list of places already noted on the legislation.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s Safer America Plan moves to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and “ghost guns,” and require background checks for all gun sales with some exceptions. He would also like to bring back the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004.

That ban, according to research, found mass shooting fatalities were 70% less likely to happen during the 10-year period of the ban. Due to the reduction in mass shootings, a 0.1% reduction in total homicide fatalities was recorded.

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