Skip to comments.Evidence scant on effectiveness of one-gun laws
Posted on 09/27/2006 11:07:42 PM PDT by neverdem
INQUIRER SENIOR WRITER
One-gun-a-month laws sound attractive to gun-control activists and draw broad public support in polls. But it's not clear that such statutes have had much impact on gun violence.
A study published last year in the journal Injury Prevention found that the laws restricting purchases had had no measurable impact. The study was done by a team of doctors from the University of Washington, using data from 1979 to 1998.
Another study, done in 2001 by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, found evidence of a slight decrease in gun violence associated with Maryland's one-gun law.
With only California, Virginia and Maryland having such laws, there isn't much evidence to be had. What is available raises questions about the effect of limiting individuals to one handgun purchase every 30 days.
Last year, all three one-gun states had homicide rates above the national average - slightly above in California and Virginia, well above in Maryland.
And Richmond, Va., and Baltimore had homicide rates among the highest in the country. Both cities reported well over 40 homicides per 100,000 residents, compared with about 25 for Philadelphia.
"There is no shortage of guns on the streets of Baltimore," said Margaret Burns, spokeswoman for the State's Attorney's Office for Baltimore.
But those who favor one-gun laws say the absence of hard proof shouldn't undercut the validity of the concept.
"The principle is a sound one," said Daniel W. Webster, codirector of the Johns Hopkins center. "You want to increase the cost of illegally selling and possessing guns. You make it easy if you let people purchase cheap handguns in bulk."
In California, which passed its law in 1999, officials say they have seen a reduction in straw purchasing, in which an individual buys multiple firearms and sells them to convicted felons, who are not legally permitted to own guns.
"Opponents say that since no single law solves the gun-violence problem in its entirety, any one law is therefore useless," said Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, a one-gun-a-month supporter. "That is not a philosophy we've adopted in California."
Virginia enacted its law in 1993, when the state was widely considered the "firearms supermarket" of the East Coast.
In the next few years, law enforcement officials in New York and New Jersey documented a steep drop in the number of guns traceable to Virginia used in crimes. Gun sales in the state fell off as well.
Now Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has gone on record favoring repeal of the one-gun limit, on the ground that it's not necessary.
South Carolina, which became the first one-gun state in 1975, repealed the law two years ago, with legislators saying it was ineffective and an unreasonable infringement on Second Amendment rights.
The National Rifle Association has made a similar case against one-gun laws, calling them "gun rationing."
On the other side of the debate, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence asks why a one-gun law - with exceptions for legitimate collectors - should bother anyone.
"One handgun a month in Pennsylvania is not a panacea, and, yes, it would be more effective nationally," campaign spokesman Peter Hamm said. "But why not do this? We all know that anyone who buys 10 guns with cash on one day is probably up to no good."
Contact senior writer Larry Eichel at 215-854-2415 or email@example.com.
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I'm surprised at the title.
Well, if I buy a dozen guns they might go out and form a gun gang.
We need more laws to control gun gangs will be the battle cry of the anti gunners.
Common sense says keep the criminals locked up....K.I.S.S.
Gun gangs like to rumble with packs of SUV's.
Ultimately, laws such as "one gun a month" are only another sad example of the willingness of the anointed to have criminals to dictate the rights allowed the law-abiding.
To such "leaders", the Constitution is not even a dead letter.
Gun control isn't about crime or safety, it's about subjugation of the population. However, if they insist on one gun a month... fine... but NO exemption for LE or military or anyone else either. If they have that exemption, then I cannot and will not abide by that law.
Well said, Joe! Keep up the good work!
This is weasel wording in the press at it's finest. "Associated" does not really mean "caused by" It just means found together. All people who drink water die. A statistical test for association would show 100% correlation between water drinking and death. Doesn't meant that there's any causal relationship between the two. I'd love to get ahold of the actual data and run my own statistics on it. Of course anti-gun organizations never make their raw data available, because honest researchers like John Lott would quickly show them to be the liars that they are.
My guess that any decrease in Maryland's crime stats are due to random fluctuations
Seriously, those with closets full of guns can only shoot one at a time. Somedays you feel like a Colt, somedays you don't.
These gun control morons can't even figure out there own policies.
The only plausible (though unjustified, and likely dubious) benefit of limiting purchase quantities is to adjoining states with stricter gun control laws, because they are the logical destination for bulk gun runners.
But that benefit would not occur unless people were running guns from California to Nevada, Oregon, or Arizona, which is silly because it is already easier to buy guns there.
Sure they can. Their goal is to totally eliminate civilian gun ownership. They want (and I quote Atlanta's former mayor, a member of HCI's board of directors, the late and unlamented Fat Fu*k Jackson) "A society where only the police and military are armed."
Anything that erects a barrier to gun ownership just advances their cause. Waiting periods, background checks, gun rationing, FOID cards, etc. don't afffect crime in the slightest, nor are they meant to. They simply add more barriers for citizens to own guns which is exactly their intent.
Just as an aside, his late corruptness spent $490,000 tax dollars annually on his personal security detail. So his fat hide was protected by the Atl police department at great expense to the unprotected citizens in Atlanta.
22,000 gun laws on the books and not a ONE is designed to be Constitutional, ethical, logical, or effective in doing anything but creating more victims.
I say we "eliminate" gun control. And those that advocate it as well if need be.
Well, that clears one thing up -- for years I had been laboring under the false impression that I needed to buy one gun a month. I have been struggling for years to meet the quota. At least I have a dandy collection. The only dilemma now is deciding which one to take to the Crusades. Decisions, decisions....
Which is why it isn't called crime control.
Or he's having a birthday in Texas.
Second the motion. All in favor?
The drawback is that it isn't just a few shrill jackasses like Schemer, Brady and Swineslime, They're elected because the majority of the voters in their oblasts agree with their viewpoint. For example, most New Yorkers hate guns, hate the freedom implied in gun ownership, and look down their noses at the rest of the country. Not only do they want to be serfs, they want the rest of the country to be subjugated to government also. Likewise in toilets like MA and IL., So you'd have to nuke about 1/4 of the country as a start. Not terribly practical.
Stop the attacks on our God given Rights by the extreme wacko left-wing anti-gun nazis!
The Right Of The People To Keep And Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed!
An Armed Citizen, Is A Safe Citizen!
Guns Save Lives!
No Guns, No Rights!
Freedom Is Worth Fighting For!
10% fought the crown. 25% from each side fought the Civil War. 30% of us are gun owners....
I'd say the odds are against "them".
Harry may have been wrong on the international terror thing, but he was dead bang on when it comes to RKBA...
I wish I could get a Gun A Month. Is there a club?
I was just thinking of the numbers of liberals that would need to be sent to "re-education" camps "arbeit macht frei"
A more practical solution would be just to ignore them. How about one gun one vote?
He sure was!
Eh... I'm not much on the camp idea. If they are too stupid to arm themselves, let Darwin handle them. They try and step up to try and disarm us themselves, chlorinate their end of the gene pool.
LOL! I'll have to start using that in conversation :-)
If I remember correctly the original purpose of the Virginia law was exactly what it accomplished -- a documented HUGE drop in the number of guns bought in Virginia and being used in crimes in places like New York. I'm sure the gunrunners have gone to other states but some Virginians were tired of being known every year as the easiest place for criminals to buy huge numbers of firearms easily and take them north.
I have friends who own dozens of guns and they've had no problem acquiring all they want. None of them are wanting for firepower and the state hasn't tried to take their guns away. In fact, leislators made it extremely easy since then to carry a concealed weapon.
Maybe she's got 5 kids and wants them all to have matched sets of Single Action pistols. Or, if it's not restricted to pistols, 3 kids with a pair of pistols, a side by side double barreled shotgun and a lever action rifle. Heck that's twelve guns. And it could be just 1 kid, herself and her hubby, all outfitted for Cowboy Action Shooting.
OTH, gun grabbers probably see such family activity involving guns as being "up to no good". :)
I just left Virginia... Trust me, that one gun a month law was NOT to pander to the New Yorkers. In essense, they were able to track people that purchased multiple firearms and keep a record of it. That's it.
Here's something that most people don't realize... the BATF requires dealers to report directly to them any purchase of multiple firearms that include 2 or more pistols. So the argument of one gun a month is a crime prevention method is BS.
Another thing that most people don't know is that the attack by NY on Virginia was due to a BATF and DOJ report showing that 13 guns had been traced back to Va in a 10 year span... The big secret to this is that only 4 of those guns were tracked due to a crime related incident. There NEVER WAS a significant number of guns moving from Va. to Ny.
It's nothing but momentum on the slippery slope.
Oh, one other thing... look at what happened at the Richmond C&E gun show and the illegal abuses by the State Police and BATF. And people wonder wny I won't give any politicians the time of day any more...
No matter what, please explain to me how the Virginia law has kept people there from owning guns. I have many friends who have bought dozens and dozens since then (I* could have legally bought 144 from gun shops since then and really even more), and I can't name a single person who's complained to me personally that they can't get enough guns.
As you know, since the one gun a month law was enacted Virginia also made it MUCH, MUCH easier to get a concealed carry permit. No other law in the state has made it tougher to own guns. So please explain the slippery slope here.
While we're at it, I think we need to look carefully at the word "press." I think it refers strictly to only printed media generated on an actual "press". Surely our founders couldn't have envisioned radio or tv news, so I think some *common sense* legislation needs to be passed to regulate them. It should be easy enough to monitor if they're only reporting one story per month.