NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Searching For Effective Gun Legislation

August 2, 1999

The House and the Senate will eventually meet to iron out the differences in their gun-control bills. Some experts are suggesting measures to help whatever bill emerges to be truly effective in countering violence and crime.

  • Respected studies by John Lott of the University of Chicago have demonstrated that murder rates dropped 8.5 percent and rapes by 5 percent in states which allowed citizens to carry concealed firearms -- making the case that residents of states which permit concealed weapons ought to have the right to protect themselves when they travel to states which bar concealment.
  • Congress could ban cities from filing suits against gun manufacturers -- thereby assuring citizens the right to purchase guns for self-defense, while also keeping prices reasonable.
  • Legislation might be passed to support research on the so- called "smart" gun -- which could be fired only by its owner, and only in a direction away from him or her.
  • Finally, Congress could require the federal government to enforce gun laws already on the books.

Experts suggest that lawmakers concentrate on legislation which helps the police while throwing fear into the hearts of criminals. Assisting innocent citizens to defend themselves and authorities to carry out their duties in greater safety is surely the appropriate policy.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett (National Center for Policy Analysis), "Laws that Actually Reduce Crime," Washington Times, August 2, 1999.


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