Study: California’s Background Checks Have No Effect on Homicide or Suicide

1991 was a banner year for California gun control. That was when the state instituted their expansive background checks for all firearm purchases, and outlawed buying guns for people convicted of violent misdemeanors.

Nearly 30 years later, two groups of gun control advocates – Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis and the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins – have studied the decade following those laws to determine how much gun violence and suicide they prevented.

The answer: None.

The study, published in the Annals of Epidemiology, found that these gun control measures “were not associated with changes in firearm homicides in California”, and that these null findings are “consistent with other recent [universal background check] evaluations”.

The media often cites these two organizations in editorials that push for gun control, but don’t count on seeing this story on CNN. And data itself has never seemed to matter much to the gun control crowd, so don’t expect this study to change the position of the groups that funded it. Still, it’s good to see common sense borne out in numbers yet again.