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More Restrictive State Laws Seem to Reduce Youth Gun Carrying

Link between state gun law score and youth gun carrying mediated by adult gun ownership

MONDAY, Sept. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A more restrictive state gun law environment is associated with reduced likelihood of youth gun carrying, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Ziming Xuan, Sc.D., from the Boston University School of Public Health, and David Hemenway, Ph.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, examined the correlation between state gun law environment and youth gun carrying in the United States, and whether this correlation was mediated by adult gun ownership. Data were collected from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey for students in grades 9 to 12 for 2007, 2009, and 2011.

The researchers found that a 10-point increase in the state gun law score, representing a more restrictive gun law environment, correlated with a 9 percent decrease in the odds of youth gun carrying, in a fully adjusted model (adjusted odds ratio, 0.91; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 0.96). The correlation was mediated by adult gun ownership (adjusted odds ratio, 0.94 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.01] with 29 percent attenuation of the regression coefficient based on bootstrap resampling).

"These findings are relevant to gun policy debates about the critical importance of strengthening overall gun law environment to prevent youth gun carrying," the authors write.

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