Master of Arts
Department or Program
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Tackling the problem of gun violence in the United States is a major challenge facing society. Many different policies have been created in order to address annual gun violence rates including bans on firearm importation, purchase, sale, and possession. Assault weapons, handgun, and Saturday night special bans are the most common firearm bans aimed at combatting gun violence. This systematic review of the literature examined these three different firearms bans and provided an overview of the effectiveness of these interventions. Firearm bans must be weighed against the constitutionality of such acts. Each one of these firearm bans are impacted by the Second Amendment and this influences how firearm bans can be implemented and used. The findings suggest that, in general, not all firearm bans decrease gun violence rates, but they may have other impacts that can be considered effective. In this review, the mixed and conflicting results demonstrate the effects of these bans reach beyond only reducing gun violence rates and that reduction in gun violence rates may not be the final outcome of some of these firearm bans.