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Concerns with Gun-Related 'Research'

Concerns with Gun-Related 'Research'
(Photo courtesy of NSSF)

There’s no question that crime is a problem in need of multi-faceted solutions. The firearm and ammunition industry recognizes the shared goal of reducing crime and supports unbiased research that will help to meet that goal.

However, a recent article in the Seattle Times illustrates the problem at the heart of the debate over violent crime: bias among researchers. In this microcosm of the debate, the author begins with the news that a group of trauma centers have started a two-year project collecting data on patients with firearm-related injuries. The research, funded by the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, sounds great on the surface. More data on non-fatal injuries can help identify solutions to help further drive the trendline downward, and build on the declines in recent years.


After a brief description of the project, the author dives headfirst into the inaccurate and misleading attack on the 1996 Dickey Amendment and the false narrative promoted by gun control groups that it blocks such research. We will let the facts speak for themselves on this, but the pivot from “more research is great,” to “the evil gun lobby is blocking research,” is quick here.


Inconvenient Facts

Apart from quoting NSSF data on the increase in firearm purchases over the past few months, due to concerns about COVID and social unrest, the author ignores the NSSF’s existence. This means there is zero mention of the firearm industry’s initiatives that help target the very real problems facing our communities. There is no mention of the Project ChildSafe® initiative, the long-standing program to educate gun owners about safe storage and to provide free gunlocks in every state. Likewise, while the author acknowledges that two-thirds of firearm-fatalities are suicides, not the result of violent crime, she fails to mention the industry’s partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, or work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop Real Solutions® for these tragedies.

Instead, the politics of gun control takes center stage in the article, just as it often does when a study on a firearm-related topic is released. The bias inherent in the research and in the media means that even research undertaken with laudable goals is likely to fall victim to manipulation and the political agenda of gun control advocates.

With millions of new gun owners joining the ranks of those exercising their Second Amendment rights in these uncertain times, the firearm and ammunition industry will continue to pursue real solutions for safer communities, even without the attention from biased researchers or the media.

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National Shooting Sports Foundation aims to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers nationwide.


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