GUNSThis Gun Policy Platform Could Help Reduce Gun Violence by 28%: Researchers

Published 17 November 2022

A new report with findings from Tufts University School of Medicine experts proposes policies molded from common ground found between gun owners and non-gun owners.

It starts with a fairly simple premise: A majority of people, no matter which side of the political aisle they occupy, believe that someone with a history of violence should not be able to have a gun. This common ground between gun owners and non-gun owners is the basis for a policy platform proposed in a report out today from Tufts University School of Medicine experts, who led research into the topic, and 97percent, a bipartisan organization of gun owners and non-gun owners committed to reducing gun deaths, which funded the research.

In Part I of the work, released last month, among other areas of common ground, Tufts School of Medicine experts found that 66% of gun owners surveyed were very concerned about the high level of gun violence in this country and more than 70% of them want to help reduce gun injuries and death. Part II outlines a proposed gun policy platform that flows directly from the shared principles the initial research found between gun owners and non-gun owners. The advantage of such a policy is that it has a better chance of being supported by a wide swath of the population, says Michael Siegel, professor of public health and community medicine, who led the research.

“This is the first time I’m aware of that anyone has tried to craft a platform based on the common ground between gun owners and non-gun owners,” he says. “This policy proposal goes into the nitty-gritty details of exactly what would be included in the laws, because our research explored the specific provisions of laws which we found were critical to the support or opposition of gun owners.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the firearm homicide rate in the U.S. increased almost 35% from 2019 to 2020. And from 2020 to 2021, the percentage of homicides attributed to gun injuries increased from 79% to 81% —the highest percentage in more than 50 years.