Permit-to-Purchase Laws Reduce Gun Violence

July 12, 2021

Purchaser Licensing, Point-of-Sale Background Check Laws, and Firearm Homicide and Suicide in 4 US States, 1985–2017 (2020) in the American Journal of Public Health; by Alexander McCourt, Cassandra Crifasi, Elizabeth Stuart, Jon Vernick, Rose Kagawa, Garen Wintemute and Daniel Webster

This study reviewed more than 30 years’ worth of firearm homicide and suicide data in four states that had either comprehensive background check laws, permit to purchase laws, or both. The study find that universal background check laws alone are not sufficient to decrease gun homicide and suicide; they must be paired with permit-to-purchase laws to decrease violent gun deaths.

Conditions for Successful Firearm Purchaser Licensing: A Working Paper (2019) by Daniel Webster, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Gun Policy and Research

Webster provides an overview of laws requiring firearm purchaser licensing in nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Characteristics of these policies vary significantly, but overall, this approach to firearm ownership eligibility is found to be highly effective for reducing: the illegal trafficking of guns, gun homicides and suicides, law enforcement officers being shot in the line of duty.

Background Checks for Firearm Purchases: Problem Areas And Recommendations To Improve Effectiveness (2019); Garen Wintemute, UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program

This review of permit-to-purchase laws finds that they are consistently effective and potentially easier to implement than other types of background check laws.