Teenagers Carry Fewer Guns In States With Stricter Gun Control Laws

Dr. Ziming Xuan ScD, SM, MA Assistant Professor, Community Health Sciences School of Public Health Boston University MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Ziming Xuan ScD, SM, MA
Assistant Professor, Community Health Sciences
School of Public Health
Boston University 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Xuan: With respect to background, among the 15000 some teenagers died annually in the US, the 3 leading causes of death were unintentional injuries, homicide, and suicide. Among these fatal youth injuries, 83% homicides were gun-related, and about half of suicides involved a gun (45%).

So, The purpose of the study was to investigate the association between state gun law environment and youth gun carrying in the United States, and whether this association is mediated by adult gun ownership.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?
Dr. Xuan:

  • Among 38 states in our study, 5.7%of high school students living in the 19 states with stricter gun laws carried a gun in past 30 days while 7.3% of students living in states with the weaker gun laws carried a gun.
  • A 10-point increase in the strictness of the state gun law score was associated with a 9% decrease in the odds of youth gun carrying.
  • Across states, restrictive gun laws may reduce youth gun carrying by limiting adult gun ownership.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Xuan: According to our study, limiting adult gun ownership likely results in reducing youth access to gun.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Xuan: In addition to the overall impact of gun policies environment identified in this study, future research can examine relative effects of specific gun policies on youth gun-related health outcomes. The findings will be relevant to policy recommendations.

Citation: 

Ziming Xuan, David Hemenway. State Gun Law Environment and Youth Gun Carrying in the United States. JAMA Pediatrics, 2015; 1 DOI:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.2116

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Dr. Ziming Xuan ScD (2015). Teenagers Carry Fewer Guns In States With Stricter Gun Control Laws 

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