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Member Research and Reports

Johns Hopkins: Permanent Gun-Carrying Restrictions Reduced Gun-Related Mortality in Two Colombian Cities, Study Finds

Permanent gun-carrying bans enacted in 2012 reduced monthly gun-related mortality rates in Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia, by 22 percent, a new analysis from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows.

The researchers compared gun-related deaths in nine comparable Colombian cities using data from the Colombian National Statistics Department. Only two of the cities, Bogota and Medellin, had enacted permanent gun-carrying bans. Between 2008 and 2016, annual gun mortality fell by 37 percent in Bogotá and Medellín (from 31.84 to 18.43 per 100,000 people) compared to a drop of 18 percent in the cities with no bans (from 37.88 to 31.20 per 100,000 people). By comparing the mortality rates between cities with and without the bans, and before and after the bans went into effect, researchers determined that the bans reduced monthly gun-related deaths by 22 percent in Bogotá and Medellín.

Researchers also looked at the effect of the bans on mortality rates by gender and location of death in Bogotá and Medellín. Gun-related mortality rates among males decreased in both public areas (22 percent) and residences (15 percent). There was also a drop in the residential mortality rate among females (6 percent), suggesting the ban may have had some effect on gun-related deaths stemming from domestic violence.

The study, published March 1 in The Bulletin of the World Health Organization, was led by Dr. Andres Vecino-Ortiz, an assistant scientist in the Bloomberg School’s department of international health.

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