Although recent news about gun deaths, gun ownership and gun legislation is disheartening, a slightly longer time horizon provides more promising news. From 1991 to 2016 most states implemented more restrictive gun laws, and the US experienced a decline in household gun ownership and a drop in gun deaths. This article examines whether changes in the household firearm ownership rate (HFR) from 1991 to 2016 within US states are associated with changes in the rate of gun deaths. We then assess whether state gun policies over the same period are associated with reductions in gun mortality. We find that HFR is strongly related to gun mortality, and restrictive policies have a substantial impact on gun deaths. Based on our results, we estimate that restrictive state gun policies from 1991 to 2016 averted over 3,800 gun deaths in 2016 alone.
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