One aspect of the continuing debate over weapons control, apart from Constitutional issues, is whether legislation is inherently capable of reducing crime and deaths by shooting. The opponents of increased control, tacitly admitting that empirical evidence is one means for measuring the effect of weapons regulation, have contended that "[e]xpert opinion and compelling evidence seem to indicate that the amount or kind of crime in a community is not substantially affected by the relative ease with which a person can obtain a firearm." National Rifle Association of America, The Gun Law Problem 10. In the following study the authors employ data analysis techniques to examine the efficacy of state and municipal controls on handguns. They conclude that many lives would be saved if all states increased their level of control to that of New Jersey, the state having the most stringent gun control laws.

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