4 Laws That Could Stem the Rising Threat of Mass Shootings

By Melinda Wenner Moyer ~ Scientific American ~

The right gun laws do prevent shootings, research strongly indicates. And these laws do not mean confiscating everybody’s guns. Scientific American spoke with Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, and Daniel Webster, director of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Gun Policy and Research, about four feasible legal and policy changes that would be most effective. Here are the life-saving laws and the data that supports them.

—Require permits to purchase
One clear flaw in federal gun laws is that prospective buyers do not get background checks when buying from private sellers, only when buying from licensed dealers. An effective solution would be to require people to apply, in-person, at local law enforcement agencies for gun purchase permits. This approach would “make it harder for bad guys to buy guns,” Wintemute says. These laws are already in place for handgun purchases in 10 states and in Washington, D.C.

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