Tougher State Gun Laws, Less Teen Gun Violence

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay reporter

THURSDAY February 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) – States with more gun laws have less gun violence among young people, according to a new study.

For the study, researchers looked at data from multiple states from 2005 to 2017 and found that children were less likely to be armed in states with more gun laws and more likely to carry guns. gun in states with fewer gun laws.

Louisiana and Arkansas had the highest percentage of armed youth in 2017 at 12.7%. These two states had 13 gun laws in place.

New York and Iowa had the fewest children with guns. The lowest rates were in New York in 2013 and in Iowa in 2007, at 3% and 3.5%, respectively. New York had 63 gun laws in 2013, and Iowa had 20 in 2007, the study’s authors noted.

“We have understood the role of individual characteristics in the carrying of weapons by young people, but we have often ignored the larger environmental context surrounding the behavior of young people carrying firearms, for example if gun laws are in place in a state to discourage access to weapons, ”the study co-author said. Paul Boxer. He is a professor of psychology at Rutgers-Newark University in New Jersey.

“Our study helped clarify these associations,” Boxer said in a press release from Rutgers.

Gun violence among youth is a major public health problem in the United States, and guns are the third leading cause of death among ages 1 to 17, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lead author of the study, John Gunn, added that more work was needed, but “current findings indicate that gun laws may reduce gun-carrying behavior among young people, which all parts of the gun law debate can recognize as unwanted and dangerous.Gunn is a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers’ New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center in Piscataway.

The results show that laws can affect patterns of gun violence and underscore the need to improve safety in communities and schools, the researchers concluded.

The report was recently published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

More information

The Center for American Progress has more information on youth and gun violence.

SOURCE: Rutgers-New Brunswick, press release, January 2021

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