This article appeared in the March 09, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Special Report

Gun laws and gun violence: What states’ experiences show

What’s the relationship between gun laws and lives saved? We gave four young staffers with a keen interest in data journalism three days to probe that question at the state level. By last night our lead designer reported having “work dreams” about how best to express their mound of findings. (You’ll want to click through the email to the enriched, site-hosted version for this one.)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act on Friday, after meeting with the families of those affected by last month’s mass shooting in Parkland. The new law raises the minimum age to buy a rifle, imposes a three-day waiting period on all gun sales, and permits the arming of some school employees. In the past two weeks, governors in Rhode Island, Oregon, and Washington have strengthened state gun laws. Amid this shifting patchwork of state laws, the Monitor has examined variations in gun laws and firearm death rates across US states, using data from Boston University’s State Firearm Laws Project and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Examining gun laws at the state level,” says BU’s Michael Siegel, “is critical to understand what policies are effective and what policies may be ineffective.” Last week Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts urged federal legislators to consider following cues from his state, which adopted a statewide ban on assault weapons when a federal ban expired in 2004. “The assault weapons ban in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, based on all the data that's available, has served this commonwealth well,” Governor Baker said. “It would be appropriate at this point for the federal government to adopt something similar.”

–  Story Hinckley, Rebecca Asoulin, Noble Ingram, Asia Palomba

SOURCE: State Firearm Laws Project; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
RESEARCH: Story Hinckley, Rebecca Asoulin, Noble Ingram, Asia Palomba; GRAPHIC: Jacob Turcotte/Staff

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( Illustration by Karen Norris. )

This article appeared in the March 09, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 03/09 edition
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