States with strictest gun laws linked to fewer murders, suicides: 6 study findings

States with the strongest firearm laws report fewer gun-related murders and fewer suicides than those with more permissive firearm regulations, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The researchers analyzed data for firearm suicides and homicides from 2010-14 across 3,108 counties in 48 states.

The researchers also scored state gun control laws, giving up to 12 points for regulations in place. These regulations included licensing gun dealers and purchasers, requiring background checks for private gun sellers, mandating prompt reporting of stolen firearms and limiting the number of guns a given person can buy at once or over a certain period of time.

Researchers also ranked states based on how strong gun laws were in neighboring states to see if these laws impacted a state's suicide or murder rates.

Here are six findings from the study.

1. Each year on average, the researchers found there were approximately 10 firearm suicides and over two murders involving guns for every 100,000 people in the population.

2. The study found counties in states with stricter gun laws had lower firearm homicide rates than counties in states with weak laws. 

3. In states that had weak laws, counties only had lower gun homicide rates if neighboring states had strict gun regulations.

4. However, researchers found states with strong gun laws had lower firearm and overall suicide rates regardless of the strength of bordering states' laws.

5. "This means that strong laws in one state may have a protective effect across state lines," lead study author Elinore Kaufman, MD, told Reuters.

6. California had the strongest firearm control laws, scoring a 10 on the researchers' scale, though many neighboring states have weak regulations.

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