Date of Submission


Document Type



Maria Tchemi-Buzzeo, Ph.D.


Homicide Rate, Firearms Homicide Rate, Restrictive Gun Law, Pro-gun Law, Gun Control


Homicide--Law and legislation, Firearms and crime, Gun control, Firearms--Law and legislation


Homicide is an ever-prevalent problem in the United States (U.S.). One solution that is often turned to is the implementation of stricter gun control laws. This causes much divide as many citizens are not in agreement about whether or not these laws do what they are intended to. The aim of this study was to determine whether or not gun control laws have an effect on homicide, and, if so, what this effect is. The U.S. states were evaluated in several different categories to determine how strict or lax their gun laws were. They were scored using the number of gun control and gun-friendly laws they had in place in recent years. These scores were used to group the states and analyze the differences in homicide statistics. In addition, the homicide statistics of three states were compared before and after these states had passed recent gun laws. Data about homicide statistics and the passage of gun control legislation were obtained from publicly available online sources. No clear associations between gun control laws and homicide rates, firearms homicide rates, or the percentage of homicides committed with firearms were found. Results from comparing homicide statistics before and after the passage of recent gun laws indicated an increase in all three categories of homicide data examined, despite the fact that some laws were aimed at loosening gun control some at tightening gun control. These results suggest that further research needs to be done on the effects of gun laws and other possible ways to prevent homicide since gun laws do not seem to have clear associations with homicide rates or with homicides with firearms.