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The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) Go to site home page About the Task Force


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The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services

Together, the Community Guide and the Clinical Guide provide evidence-based recommendations across the prevention spectrum.


Violence Prevention: Firearms Laws

A view of an empty courtroom, with the judge's bench and chair as the focal point of the image.

Federal, state, and local laws regulate the manufacture, distribution, sale, acquisition, storage, transportation, carrying, and use of firearms in the United States. The Task Force reviewed studies that examined the effects of selected federal and state firearms laws on violence-related public health outcomes, noting also reported effects on other outcomes, such as property crime, apprehension of criminals, and school expulsion.

Task Force Recommendations and Findings

This table lists interventions reviewed by the Community Guide, with a summary of the Task Force finding (definitions of findings). Click on an underlined intervention title for a summary of the review.

Intervention Task Force Finding
Firearms Laws
Bans on Specified Firearms or Ammunition Insufficient Evidence
October 2001
Restrictions on Firearm Acquisition Insufficient Evidence
October 2001
Waiting Periods for Firearm Acquisition Insufficient Evidence
October 2001
Firearm Registration and Licensing of Firearm Owners Insufficient Evidence
October 2001
"Shall issue" Concealed Weapons Carry Laws Insufficient Evidence
April 2002
Child Access Prevention (CAP) Laws Insufficient Evidence
April 2002
Zero Tolerance of Firearms in Schools Insufficient Evidence
October 2001
Combinations of Firearms Laws Insufficient Evidence
April 2002

Presentations and Promotional Materials


Using Evidence for Public Health Decision Making: Violence Prevention Focused on Children and Youth Adobe PDF File [PDF - 466 kB] Developed by The Community Guide


The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Violence Prevention: firearms laws. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.