Gun Control Laws and Their Effectiveness

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According to research, gun control laws can be affective if the offender doesn’t have a single intent to kill. A single intent to kill is when the offender’s primary motive is to kill their victim. Frank Z states if the offender has a single intent to kill the offender will find an alternative weapon to kill their victims. Zimring, in his study compared the amount of fatal and nonfatal attacks that were carried out by guns to nonfatal and fatal attacks that were carried out by knifes. He found that 2.3 times as many serious knife attacks were reported to police than gun attacks. Although there were more knife attacks recorded, more people died from gun shot wounds than knife wounds. Zimring concluded that if firearms were taken away the homicide rate would drop drastically.

However, even after the removal of firearms people would find alternative weapons to use to commit their crimes such as knifes or their hands and feet. Most of the substitute weapons used in place of guns won’t produce nearly as many homicides as guns do. Naturally like Zimring stated the homicide rate would decrease.

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According to research, The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act which was created in 1993 required anybody who purchased a handgun to receive a background check and be placed on a waiting list before they received their handgun. Jefferey Monroe states that the Brady Act has a chance to affective because it will deter felons and others who are presumed to be dangerous from purchasing a firearm. However, most criminals obtain their guns illegally from friends, relatives, or dealers. Jefferey Moore research indicates that states who implemented the Brady Act homicide rate increased compared to the states who didn’t but the homicide rate for juveniles increased in states that have the Brady Act.

Adults are responsible for most of the gun-related homicides that were committed in Brady States. 51% of all homicides were committed by adults to compared to 39% in pre-Brady states. The Brady states that were used in Monroe’s research were states that added background checks when the Brady Act was passed in 1994. The Brady States were compared to pre-brady states that already required anybody who tried to purchase a gun to get a background check. In states that implemented the Brady Act only adults received a background check because it was illegal for minors to purchase a handgun so the homicides committed by adults should have decreased. In 1994 after the Brady act was implemented the homicides that were committed by adults in Brady states dropped in 1995 but increased in 1996 and 1997. In Pre-Brady states the adult homicide rate increased in 1995 but decreased in 1996 and 1997. The Brady act didn’t stop adults from committing homicides.

I hypothesize that gun control laws won’t affect the overall homicide rate because most criminals don’t buy their weapons from gun dealers legally. Criminals typically buy their guns from illegal sources. Although I don’t believe the overall homicide rates will be affected, I do believe that certain types of homicides or gun-related deaths will be affected. The suicide rate should decrease because when a gun dealership does a background check and finds out a person has attempted suicide on numerous occasions, the gun dealers won’t be able to give that person a gun. However, my research is specifically focusing on gun-related homicides. Gun-related homicide can be defined as a nonaccidental death that was caused by a firearm.

I also hypothesize that states with strict gun laws will have a higher gun-related homicide rate than states that have lenient gun laws. In the states that have stricter gun laws people or criminals would most likely travel to neighboring states that have more lenient gun laws and purchase their guns or they’ll look to use an alternative weapon to carry out their range.

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Gun Control Laws and Their Effectiveness. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
“Gun Control Laws and Their Effectiveness.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
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