This report in the October, 2017 issue of the American College of Surgeons Bulletin discusses the difficulties in creating consensus among trauma surgeons about the approach to reducing high mortality rates from firearm injury. The debate among surgeons reflects the divide in America about the issue of firearm violence. This report discusses the effort to examine and determine if consensus exists on any of a variety of policies. The authors found that "Most surgeons and other health care professionals with firearms in their homes support every policy surveyed, and for at least five of the potential policies, there is consensus agreement between those with and those without firearms."
The Relationship between Community Violence and Trauma: How violence affects learning, health, and behavior.
This report offers resounding evidence that individuals living in communities where violence is prevalent are at increased risk for a broad range of negative health and behavior outcomes. In the context of gun violence prevention, research suggests that living in violent communities compromises residents’ ability to break intergenerational cycles of violence. Without large-scale interventions, a neighborhood becomes effectively unable to protect itself against the perpetuation of a culture that is normed in violence. As one observer has noted, there is no post in the post-traumatic stress experienced by many. Across the three domains – learning and development, mental health and behavior, and chronic illness – research consistently links violence exposure with outcomes that predispose individuals to be less likely to be healthy and raise healthy children, less likely to live in safe communities, and less likely to complete their schooling and maintain employment.
Evaluating the Effects of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Self-defense Law on Homicides and Suicides by Firearm: An Interrupted Time Series Study
This 2016 research from the University of Oxford found that "the enactment of Florida’s stand your ground law in 2005 has been associated with abrupt and sustained increases in homicide and homicide by firearm in the state."
This 2016 research from Johns Hopkins University summarizes research relevant to civilian use of guns, the impact of RTC laws on violent crime and mass shootings, and common patterns in public mass shootings to determine how well available research aligns with the assumptions underlying policies to allow civilians to bring guns onto college and university campuses and summarizes research that is relevant to the potential increased firearm access among college students and the college campus environment.
On The Path of Prevention: The 11th biannual report of the Maine Domestic Abuse Homicide Review Panel
This 2016 report found that "During this two year report cycle, perpetrators committed twenty‐one homicides in 2014, fourteen of which the Maine Department of Public Safety categorized as “domestic” homicides (eight of the fourteen were children, all under the age of 13 years old); and offenders committed twenty‐five homicides in 2015, ten of which were categorized as domestic homicides. Together, these twenty‐four domestic homicides accounted for 52% of Maine’s total homicides in those two years . Over the past ten years, domestic homicides accounted for 47% of Maine’s total homicides. Despite the fact that Maine has a relatively low crime rate in contrast to other states, according to the Violence Policy Center’s recent study, “Women Murdered by Men; An Analysis of 2013 Homicide Data,” Maine ranked ninth highest in the nation for homicides that males committed against females."
This 2016 report provides an in-depth examination of crime guns recovered in New York. In particular it provides a detailed look at how guns are diverted to the illegal market. Maine is one of the Iron Pipeline states.
This report by the Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence identifies states that have statute addressing firearm access by children and examines those statutes through several lens. Maine does not have a statute that criminalizes child access to firearms.
This 2016 report examines an under-reported problem. "One of the most glaring gaps in the nation’s gun laws—even in states with the strongest gun laws in the country, like California—is the lack of an effective firearms relinquishment policy. Few state legislatures have taken any meaningful steps to actually enforce their criminal gun restrictions by ensuring that armed offenders give up their firearms after they are convicted of serious crimes. This national problem is a collective failure, in spite of the fact that there is broad consensus across the ideological spectrum that such individuals must not have access to deadly weapons. Meaningfully and responsibly enforcing that principle means closing this reckless gap in our gun laws. To encourage an informed policy discussion, this report will provide an overview and analysis of the firearm relinquishment laws in all 50 states..."Findings for Maine are on page 38 of the report.
David Hemenway, Harvard Injury Control Center, has conducted surveys of researchers who have published on firearms in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and as an active scientist published an article in the last four years. The results clearly demonstrate that there is consensus among those who study gun violence.
The Impact of Right to Carry Laws and the NRC Report: The Latest Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy
This 2014 Stanford study found that more recent evidence and more valid statistical models show that RTC laws increase aggravated assaults, RTC laws increase rape and robbery, and RTC laws increase the rate of murder.
Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use: An Analysis of Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Crime Victimization Survey Data
This April 2016 report supports previous findings (see Reports below on self-defense gun use) that use of a gun to defend oneself is rare and is becoming rarer. Totals are down from previous year. An important note to this analysis is that 27% of the assailants were known to the individual using the gun in self-defense.
A 2016 study in the journal Depression and Anxiety found that just over half of emergency department patients with SI/SA, (suicidal ideation/suicide attempt did not have documented assessment of home access to lethal means, including patients who were discharged home and had 1 or more firearm at home.
Research published in Preventive Medicine, April 2015, finds that "...respondents (adult offenders living in Chicago or nearby) obtain most of their guns from their social network of personal connections. Rarely is the proximate source either direct purchase from a gun store, or theft. Only about 60% of guns in the possession of respondents were obtained by purchase or trade. Other common arrangements include sharing guns and holding guns for others. About one in seven respondents report selling guns, but in only a few cases as a regular source of income.
This 2015 study published in Injury Prevention found that "The most pronounced effect of firearm exposure can be seen in the early period after initial injury. Individuals victimized by firearms have a statistically significant fivefold to sixfold higher hazard of death during the first year after discharge as compared with both those injured in MVCs [motor vehicle collisions] and assaulted individuals where a firearm was not used."
This report looks at child access to firearms and makes recommendations to reduce the toll taken. The report notes a Harvard study which found that "Parents underestimate the extent to which their children know where their household guns are stored and the frequency with which children handle household guns unsupervised. A Harvard survey of children in gun-owning households found that more than 70 percent of children under age 10 knew where their parents stored their guns — even when they were hidden — and 36 percent of the children reported handling the weapons. Thirty-nine percent of parents who thought their child was unaware of the location of the household’s gun were contradicted by their children, and one of every five parents who believed their child had not handled the gun was mistaken." One appendix presents each child endangerment case used in the study and notes whether charges were brought. A second appendix presents information about child access laws in states.
A study published in Pediatrics, February 2014, reported that "Firearm injuries are an important and preventable cause of morbidity in the pediatric age range. The major cause of injury in young children was an unintentional injury, whereas in adolescents, most hospitalizations resulted from assault. Hospitalizations due to suicide attempts were uncommon and had a high (35%) in-hospital death rate, in keeping with the very high case-fatality rate of suicide attempts made with a firearm."
This February, 2016 meta-analysis of 130 studies in 10 countries on the associations between firearm-related laws and firearm homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries/deaths found some evidence that "the simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths. Laws restricting the purchase of (e.g., background checks) and access to (e.g., safer storage) firearms are also associated with lower rates of intimate partner homicides and firearm unintentional deaths in children, respectively." But they cautioned that their findings were compromised by limitations of the studies themselves and conclude that "High quality research on the association between the implementation or repeal of firearm legislation (rather than the evaluation of existing laws) and firearm injuries would lead to a better understanding of what interventions are likely to work given local contexts." The whole issue of Epidemiologic Reviews addresses a variety of problems associate with gun violence. http://epirev.oxfordjournals.org/content/current
This examination of marketing guns to children looks at the strategies used to create a new generation of consumers. "The tragic frequency of shootings involving children and teenagers is well documented and unfortunately now a regular part of our daily existence. Yet few realize that the firearms industry and the organizations that represent their interests, including the National Rifle Association, have made it one of their top marketing priorities to promote the use of guns among America’s children, as young as grade-school age. In doing so, the gun industry is following a trail once blazed by the tobacco industry in its efforts to entice children to smoke cigarettes." This report underscores the conclusions drawn in the research report below, Gun Ownership and Social Gun Culture.
MarieClaire.com partners with the Harvard Injury Control Research Center on a groundbreaking national survey of women's relationship with guns. The issues are examined from both sides of the gun debate.
This 2016 examination of the history of the use of firearm silencers and legislation that has been "recently introduced in Congress... Misleadingly labeled the “Hearing Protection Act of 2015,” the bill would remove silencers from the list of NFA-regulated firearms and accessories, making them subject only to the regulations that currently apply to hunting rifles." The recommendations are : "Since 1934, the strict regulations contained in the National Firearms Act have worked to limit crimes committed with silencers. Recognizing this, silencers should remain regulated under the NFA. Making these weapons available to the general public with far fewer restrictions will ensure that their use in crime will increase. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should also immediately finalize a rule to prevent silencers from being acquired through the use of “gun trusts.” The rule should maintain the requirement that a local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) sign off on all transfers. Finally, ATF should track the criminal use of silencers and release the information publicly."
This February 2016 article in The American Journal of Medicine found that "US homicide rates were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the gun homicide rate in the United States was 49.0 times higher. Firearm-related suicide rates were 8.0 times higher in the United States, but the overall suicide rates were average. Unintentional firearm deaths were 6.2 times higher in the United States. The overall firearm death rate in the United States from all causes was 10.0 times higher. Ninety percent of women, 91% of children aged 0 to 14 years, 92% of youth aged 15 to 24 years, and 82% of all people killed by firearms were from the United States."
Research published in 2015 looked at gun ownership in 2013 and concluded that "The link between social gun culture and gun ownership also suggest one avenue through which modern conceptions of the primacy of gun ownership, despite the potential public health consequences, are reinforced. Although notions of protection of one’s family and property originally justified gun ownership, gun ownership is today sustained in public consciousness much more through calls to constitutionally enshrined social values, reinforced intermittently by outrage at efforts to limit widespread gun availability. Insofar as social gun cultures may contribute to these prevailing social values, their co-occurrence with gun ownership suggests that social gun culture must be considered by potential public health intervention in the area."
The epidemiology of self-defense gun use: Evidence from the National Crime Victimization Surveys 2007–2011
This research published in the journal Preventive Medicine's Special Issue on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Gun Violence found that "compared to other protective actions, the National Crime Victimization Surveys provide little evidence that SDGU is uniquely beneficial in reducing the likelihood of injury or property loss."
This October 2015 article in the journal Preventive Medicine's Special Issue on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Gun Violence examines the epidemiology of fatal and nonfatal firearm violence in the United States. Trends over two decades in homicide, assault, self-directed and unintentional firearm injuries are described along with current demographic characteristics of victimization and health impact.
This August 2015 report "investigated whether stricter state-level firearm legislation was associated with lower hospital discharge rates for nonfatal firearm injuries" and concluded that "stricter state firearm legislation is associated with lower discharge rates for such injuries." In addition they found that "Stricter state legislation specific to strengthening background checks before firearm purchase was associated with lower discharge rates for total and unintentional nonfatal firearm injuries and declines, although non-significant, in rates of all other nonfatal firearm injuries (assault related, self-inflicted, undetermined). They also studied "firearm legislation related to child access prevention and discharge rates for those aged 0 to 19 years" and found that"stricter legislation was associated with lower discharge rates for self-inflicted and unintentional nonfatal firearm injuries, the 2 types of firearm injuries primarily targeted through child access laws."
Firearms Training and Self-Defense: Does the quality and frequency of training determine the realistic use of firearms by citizens for self-defense?
An April, 2015 report of research done by Mount St. Mary's University found that there is"enormous public safety dangers when untrained individuals carry firearms". Based on the results of the study strong recommendations are made for gun safety including restrictions on those with anger management problems and those who have a record of alcohol abuse.
A March, 2015 study by NORC at the University of Chicago (an independent research institution) found that "in 2014 22.4% of adults personally owned a firearm." The study finds that support for requiring a permit to purchase a gun to be at 71.7% in 2014.
This 2015 research report examines the possibility that mass killings are influenced by similar incidents in the near past. They found "significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past." In addition they found that "state prevalence of firearm ownership is significantly associated with state incidence of mass killings with firearms, school shootings, and mass shootings. Once state prevalence of firearm ownership has been taken into account, there is no significant association between state incidence of these events and state prevalence of mental illness or ranking of strength of firearm legislation." This research is also noteworthy for the references to other studies that have addressed gun violence. It serves as an excellent summary of what we have learned to date.
Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use: An analysis of Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Crime Victimization Survey Data
This 2015 analysis presents the data and draws this conclusion based on that data: The reality of self-defense gun use bears no resemblance to the exaggerated claims of the gun lobby and gun industry. The number of justifiable homicides that occur in our nation each year pale in comparison to criminal homicides, let alone gun suicides and fatal unintentional shootings. And contrary to the common stereotype promulgated by the gun lobby, those killed in justifiable homicide incidents don’t always fit the expected profile of an attack by a stranger: in 35.5 percent of the justifiable homicides that occurred in 2012 the persons shot were known to the shooter.
This 2015 report looks at and analyzes national data spanning more than 40 years contained in the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. They found that In 2014, less than a third of American households reported having a gun in the home. That is down from a high of 53.7% in 1977.
This report lays out the cost of gun violence across several categories. These estimates are based on the latest injury data from the Centers for Disease Control and unit costs from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation's (PIRE) widely cited injury cost model. An excellent assessment of this information is provided by Mother Jones here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america
This 2015 report summarizes and critiques available evidence from studies published between 1999 and August 2014 on the effects of policies designed to keep firearms from high-risk individuals in the United States. Some prohibitions for high-risk individuals (e.g., those under domestic violence restraining orders, violent misdemeanants) and procedures for checking for more types of prohibiting conditions are associated with lower rates of violence. Certain laws intended to prevent prohibited persons from accessing firearms—rigorous permit-to-purchase, comprehensive background checks, strong regulation and oversight of gun dealers, and requiring gun owners to promptly report lost or stolen firearms—are negatively associated with the diversion of guns to criminals. Future research is needed to examine whether these laws curtail nonlethal gun violence and whether the effects of expanding prohibiting conditions for firearm possession are modified by the presence of policies to prevent diversion.
This 2015 report from the Center for American Progress recommends that states "Bar all convicted abusers, stalkers, and people subject to related restraining orders from possessing guns; provide all records of prohibited abusers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS; require a background check for all gun sales; ensure that abusers surrender any ﬁrearms they own once they become prohibited." Maine currently has some laws in place that address this issue, http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/19-A/title19-Asec4007.html , but is no mandate in Maine to provide this information to the NICS [http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/25/title25sec1541.html] and Maine does not require universal background checks so anyone with a restraining order prohibiting possession of firearms can easily acquire a firearm. A companion report from Everytown re-iterates the data and recommendations and charts each states laws http://3gbwir1ummda16xrhf4do9d21bsx.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Guns-and-Violence-Against-Women-Everytown-for-Gun-Safety1.pdf
The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Stranger and Non-stranger Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981-2010
This 2014 research reports "that a higher proportion of household gun ownership at the state level is associated with statistically significant increased rates of nonstranger total and firearm homicides. By contrast, we found no robust, statistically significant association between household gun ownership and stranger homicides. Our findings thus challenge the argument that gun ownership deters violent crime, in particular, homicides."
This 2014 report found that firearms were the most common weapon abusive family members used in homicides. The Panel noted "... that residents of Maine may currently obtain concealed handgun permits from a variety of sources. Thus there is no mechanism by which law enforcement can easily determine who possesses a permit to carry a concealed handgun" and "recommends that the State maintain a repository of concealed handgun permits for law enforcement access only, to include information about the status of a permit (including whether it has been suspended or revoked)." [LD 222 passed by the legislature in 2014 would have given permitting authority to Maine State Police but it was vetoed by Governor Lepage and the veto was sustained.]
The results of surveys on the issue of gun control from 2007 to 2014 showcasing public opinion on the issues confronting us.
This report corrects some of the errors made by the media in reporting on post-Newtown gun laws. "Of the states that enacted laws to strengthen gun regulation, 8 states made very significant and, in some cases, sweeping changes to the way it regulates firearms. Alternatively, only 4 states enacted laws that have significantly weakened gun regulation."
This referenced 2014 report "highlights some of the extreme positions the NRA has taken and some of the tactics it uses to advance its agenda, which is making America less safe." The report details the efforts by the NRA to affect laws and regulations in states across America. One example asserts that "Felons who have had their gun prohibitions overturned thanks to NRA-backed efforts include convicted murderers and individuals guilty of transferring explosives to international terrorists, threatening family members with guns, illegally selling prohibited weapons like machine guns and committing aggravated assault, robbery and rape."
This 2013 research found "a robust relationship between gun ownership and firearm homicide rates,..." and concluded that "Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher levels of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides."
A 2013 referenced review of reports and investigations on gun shows as a source of guns which become diverted from legal to illegal commerce.
This 2013 study looks at the change in homicides rates prior to and after the repeal of Missouri's permit to purchase a firearm law. After examination of the data it was concluded that "This study provides compelling evidence that the repeal of Missouri’s PTP handgun licensing law, which required all handgun purchasers to pass a background check even for purchases from private sellers, contributed to a sharp increase in Missouri’s homicide rate. Our estimates suggest that the law was associated with an additional 55 to 63 murders per year in Missouri between 2008 and 2012 than would have been forecasted had the PTP handgun law not been repealed." The report also notes that more guns were trafficked out of Missouri as a result of this repeal.
In 2013 this study done by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston had as its objective "To evaluate whether more firearm laws in a state are associated with fewer firearm fatalities." They "examined overall firearm death rates as well as firearm suicide and firearm homicide rates by state, controlling for other factors previously associated with firearm fatalities." They "found an association between the legislative strength of a state's firearm laws—as measured by a higher number of laws—and a lower rate of firearm fatalities. The association was significant for firearm fatalities overall and for firearm suicide and firearm homicide deaths, individually. As our study could not determine a cause-and-effect relationship, further studies are necessary to define the nature of this association."
A 2013 study published in the journal Pediatrics "highlights the substantial morbidity and mortality in children and adolescents due to firearm injuries. In 2009, in the United States, almost 7400 persons, 20 years of age were hospitalized for firearm injuries. The rates of hospitalizations were highest in 15-to 19-year-olds and in black males. Public health efforts should be dedicated to reducing this common source of childhood injuries." Researchers found that "Firearm injuries are an important and preventable cause of morbidity in the pediatric age range. The major cause of injury in young children was an un-intentional injury, whereas in adolescents, most hospitalizations resulted from assault." They also address the issue of cost, immediate and long term, of firearm injuries. They also noted another study that found "that nearly half of the children hospitalized for firearm injuries were discharged with a disability."
A 2013 survey by The New England Journal of Medicine reports on public opinion about measures to reduce gun violence. They report that "support was particularly high for measures prohibiting certain persons from having guns, enhancing background checks, and instituting greater oversight of gun dealers. Even policies banning the sale of military-style semiautomatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines were supported by more than 65% of the general public" with "smaller differences than we anticipated between gun-owners and non–gun-owners."
Felons Seek Firearms, No Strings Attached: How dangerous people evade background checks and buy illegal guns online
This 2013 Mayors Against Illegal Guns report"examined online gun listings on the website, Armslist.com, and found that this single website could potentially transfer more than 25,000 guns to individuals with criminal records just this year. After examining 13,000 listings, the investigation found that at least one in thirty would-be gun-buyers had felony or domestic abuse records that barred them from purchasing and possessing guns."
Gun shows across a multistate American gun market: observational evidence of the effects of regulatory policies
This 2007 study compared gun shows in California where a restrictive regulatory environment for gun shows with gun shows in Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Florida none of which regulates gun shows or private party gun sales. Wintemute found one important difference was in the frequency of undocumented private party gun sales in comparison states. More straw purchases also occurred at the gun shows in the comparison states. Of particular interest are observations of individual behaviors at the gun shows. No other similar study has been conducted since.
Table of background checks submitted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check system from 1998 to current year. For the past two years Maine has seen 90,000+ requests which is 7% of the state's population. Only gun dealers in Maine are required to submit background checks. Private sales in Uncle Henry's, online firearms listings, gun shows, etc. are not required to submit background checks though the more responsible in these venues will require that a background check be completed before a sale is completed.
The Accessibility of Firearms and Risk for Suicide and Homicide Victimization Among Household Members: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
This January, 2014 research "performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of all studies that compared the odds of suicide or homicide victimization between persons with and without reported firearm access. All but 1 of the 16 studies identified in this review reported significantly increased odds of death associated with firearm access. We found strong evidence for increased odds of suicide among persons with access to firearms compared with those without access... and moderate evidence for an attenuated increased odds of homicide victimization when persons with and without access to firearms were compared..." As in any credible research limitations of the study are noted, and a call forbetter data collection to effectively assess the problem is made.
This 2013 report by the National Physicians Alliance and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence concludes with this: Just as the medical community has historically championed substantive injury prevention policies in other areas, it is time again for health care providers to demand concrete actions to reduce gun violence. Examples include: Extending gun purchase and possession prohibitions to people known to be at a high risk of committing firearms-related or violent crimes, such as violent misdemeanants, alcohol abusers, and serious juvenile offenders; Banning assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines; Establishing of a universal system of background checks for anyone buying a firearm or ammunition; Regulating guns and gun safety devices as consumer products by requiring the inclusion of product safety features, such as loading indicators and magazine disconnect mechanisms, and testing these products for safety prior to sale; Encouraging the development of new technologies that will increase gun safety, such as personalized guns; Removing all gag rules that apply to clinical encounters, because patients and providers must be free to discuss any issue, including gun safety; Building an evidence-based approach to gun violence prevention, which includes restoration of robust funding and training for epidemiological research in this area (e.g. through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and gathering data that tracks gun-related deaths and injuries, safety interventions, and the impact of measures to reduce the incidence of gun violence over time; Requiring law enforcement oversight of gun dealerships and ammunition sellers, who should be held accountable for negligence in the marketing or sale of these products; and Ensuring that violence prevention including gun safety is a core part of the training and continuing professional education of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, teachers, and other professionals.
Testimony provided by Daniel W. Webster, Professor and Director Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research to the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights in 2013 on the results of a summit "one month—to the hour—after the harrowing and unfathomable massacre of 20 children and 6 adults in a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school,... that brought together preeminent researchers on gun violence from across the country and around the world." His testimony focused on dispelling arguments against efforts to address the issues around gun violence in our country. For a full accounting of the summit refer to the book mentioned in the testimony: Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing policy with evidence and analysis . Update to the book, Updated Evidence and Policy Developments on Reducing Gun Violence in America, provides new data, research, policy developments, and analysis.
This report by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies details the extent of the problem drawing on data that is available and noting that "the scarcity of research on firearm-related violence limits policy makers’ ability to propose evidence-based policies that reduce injuries and deaths and maximize safety while recognizing Second Amendment rights." The research agenda "envisioned by the committee, which is designed to produce impacts in 3-5 years, focuses on the characteristics of firearm violence, risk and protective factors, interventions and strategies, gun safety technology, and the influence of video games and other media."
The American Psychological Association "commissioned this report by a panel of experts to convey research-based conclusions and recommendations (and to identify gaps in such knowledge) on how to reduce the incidence of gun violence — whether by homicide, suicide, or mass shootings — nationwide."
This position paper from the American Pediatric Surgical Association details the problems and advocates for solutions to reduce firearm casualties, with a focus on children. The APSA "supports addressing firearm-related injury and death as a public health issue with allocation of the necessary attendant resources to mitigate the problem." They conclude their comments with "APSA believes that inaction is irrational and indefensible."
This handbook describes weapons covered by the Act and who may sell, transfer, own weapons such as a fully-automatic weapon, silencer, destructive device, etc. Registration is required for possession of such a firearm but the information collected is protected. In Maine possession of a machine gun is prohibited (17-A M.R.S.A. 1051) but exemption from this prohibition is granted if possessed in accordance with the NFA.
This 2008 report by the Brady Campaign provides compelling evidence on the effect of the current cultural acceptance of assault-style weapons. The report quotes the Heller Decision in advocating for a ban on these weapons: "We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. [U.S. v.] Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons".” Documentation of assault weapon crimes from 2004-2008 provides sobering accounts of tragedies that are often only reported locally. Taken together, however, they present a picture of a country at-risk.
The Center for Disease Control presents data on deaths caused by firearms for the total US population and for children from 1999 to 2010. In all categories/years presented death rates of children have declined while the death rates for the overall population have increased.
A joint report of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign that examines what states have done since the Sandy Hook Elementary Schooltragedy and the report grades states based on their efforts to curb gun violence. Maine gets an F.
Information about firearm recoveries in Maine presented in graphs.
Wintemute and Braga evaluate Trace the Guns and find the methodology flawed. They assert that the report's endorsement of a background check requirement only for handgun sales at gun shows is based on a faulty analysis. The finding on which that endorsement is based is actually attributable to states that have adopted universal background check requirements. The authors conclude by stating that any recommendations must rest on a solid foundation of scientific evidence. A requirement that all gun sales include a background check on the prospective purchaser and comprehensive state-level regulation of firearm retailers are well-supported by scientific evidence.
A 2010 report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns provides data on the "number of crime guns sold in each state and recovered in out-of-state crimes; the states that are the top sources of crime guns recovered from crime scenes shortly after their initial purchase – a measure, called “Time-to-Crime,” considered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) to be a key indicator of gun trafficking; and the association between state laws designed to deter gun trafficking and the movement of illegal guns across state lines."
This December 2012 report by the Annenburg Public Policy Center examines the data and provides some analysis.
This report prepared for members and committees of Congress reviews cases since Heller and McDonald that considered assault weapons bans. No challenge to such a ban was found to pass constitutional muster. All bans as of the date of this report, February 14, 2013, have been upheld.
The Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women annually for 17 years. During that period, nationwide the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents has dropped 26 percent.
This year’s report applies to 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. The study covers homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender, and uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report.