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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Finds Restrictive Gun Control Policies Lower Youth Gun Carrying

A more restrictive gun law environment was associated with a reduced likelihood of youths carrying guns, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.

In a study published online by JAMA Pediatrics, Dr. Ziming Xuan, first author and assistant professor of community health sciences at BUSPH, and co-author Dr. David Hemenway of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health used gun law scores from the Brady Center for each state, with greater values representing a more restrictive gun control environment. They report that a 10-point increase in a gun law score was associated with 9 percent lower odds of youth gun carrying.

Higher adult gun ownership levels also were associated with a higher prevalence of youth carrying guns.

“Gun violence poses a substantial public health threat to adolescents in the United States. Existing evidence points to the need for policies to reduce gun carrying among youth,” they wrote. “We find that the strength of gun policies, including both adult-focused and youth-focused policies, is inversely associated with youth gun carrying.”

To read more about the study, go to: