Gun controls: the D.C. example

A new study on handgun-related crime in Washington, D.C., provides one more bit of compelling evidence about the effectiveness of strong gun controls. The study, conducted by the US Conference of Mayors, found that crimes committed with handguns dropped dramatically in the nation's capital after the D.C. Firearms Control Act of 1977 went into effect.

Between 1977 and 1979, compared with the three prior years, handgun homicides fell by 26 percent, handgun assaults were down 10.5 percent, and robberies with handguns declined 22.5 percent, the study found. The handgun suicide rate fell by 40 percent.

Congress should take a look at these good results right on its own doorstep and consider the impact which similarly strong federal gun controls would have. Some 3,000 Americans nationwide were victims of handgun violence in the first five months of this year. Experience shows that state handgun controls such as those in the District of Columbia make a struggle against the influx of firearms shipped in from localities without them. Federal controls would reduce crime and violence in all jurisdictions.

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