Background checks, cooling-off periods for gun buyers and other 'basic steps' ... trends now
State laws requiring background checks or cooling-off periods for buying firearms are effective at reducing gun deaths, Princeton University researchers have revealed in a study this week.
Scholars Patrick Sharkey and Megan Kang found that stricter gun laws passed by 40 states from 1991 to 2016 cut gun deaths by nearly 4,300 in 2016.
That's roughly 11 percent of all gun deaths that year, the most recent period for which data are available.
Mourners hold candles at a vigil for victims of Lewiston mass shooting as officials answer questions about the missed opportunities they had to stop a killer
Robert Card, 40, on October 25, committing mass murder in a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine
It also comes as Gallup pollsters show that a majority of Americans — 56 percent — favor stricter gun laws.
Gun restrictions work, says Patrick Sharkey
Still, millions of voters say gun restrictions are already too strict, and that ownership rights are enshrined in the constitution.
'The challenge of gun violence is not intractable,' Sharkey, a sociologist and criminologist, told The New York Times.
'If states take basic steps to regulate guns, it will save thousands and thousands of lives.'
Laws imposed across dozens of states from the 1990s onwards managed to reduce the number of gun killings and suicides, he said.
They include background checks, permit requirements, waiting periods for buying guns, raising minimum age limits, bans on military-style weapons, restricting firearms in public places, and tackling gun trafficking.
Shop till you drop: a gun expo at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia
Every time a state passed a new firearm curb, the number of gun deaths per 100,000 residents fell by 0.21, researchers found.
'There's no single policy