Background checks, gun licenses and homicide rates

From researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health:

State laws that require gun purchasers to obtain a license contingent on passing a background check performed by state or local law enforcement are associated with a 14 percent reduction in firearm homicides in large, urban counties . . . .(1)

While these “permit-to-purchase” laws have been assumed to reduce crime, this is the first study to document how much impact the laws have in large cities where two-thirds of handgun homicides occur.

Why isn’t there a uniform national law governing purchases?


  1. Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Handgun purchaser licensing laws linked to fewer firearm homicides in large, urban areas: States that adopt handgun licensing laws see fewer gun homicides in their urban centers.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2018. <>

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