Researcher Finds Evidence That Relaxing Gun Laws Ups Murder Rate
Since the 1920s, Missouri had been operating under a permit-to-purchase system, where would-be gun buyers would have to see local law enforcement for a background check and general vetting. If a person passed the check, they’d be given a permit that allowed them to buy guns. In 2007, that law was changed so that any required background checks were performed at the time of purchase, and buyers would be approved immediately after completion. It passed as part of a package that included stand-your-ground legislation.
As the national murder rate continued to trend downward, Missouri’s held steady in the wake of the changes. Webster also said that the age adjusted gun homicide rate in Missouri went up by 25 percent. In eight other states, there were no significant changes in this figure and, in aggregate, the rate in these states went down by 2.2 percent. Changes in murders committed without firearms were not statistically significant.