Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 741–762 | Cite as

The association of firearm laws with firearm outcomes among children and adolescents: a scoping review

  • April M. ZeoliEmail author
  • Jason Goldstick
  • Amanda Mauri
  • Mikaela Wallin
  • Monika Goyal
  • Rebecca Cunningham
  • For the FACTS Consortium


We conducted a scoping review to determine the current state of knowledge and areas for advancements in research on the association of firearm laws with child and adolescent firearm-related outcomes. We queried Scopus, EMBASE, Pubmed, and CJ Abstracts for English language original empirical research articles on policies affecting child and adolescent firearm-related outcomes published between January 1, 1985 and July 1, 2018. Data were abstracted, and methodologic quality assessed. Twenty articles met inclusion criteria. Among the policies studied were child access prevention laws (12 studies) and minimum age restrictions for firearm purchase and possession (4 studies). Outside of child access prevention laws, which are associated with reductions in child and adolescent unintentional and firearm suicide deaths, there is, at best, equivocal evidence of policy effects. This area is understudied, particularly in regard to nonfatal firearm injuries, for which the lack of a national surveillance system hampers research efforts. Further rigorous firearm policy evaluations are needed.


Firearm policy Homicide Suicide Scoping review 



We would like to thank Lynn Massey for her assistance in motivating us and helping us work out all the logistical and technical aspects of conducting the review. We would like to thank Judith E. Smith, Informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan, for creating and conducting the search strategies.


This review was funded by NIH/NICHD 1R24HD087149-01A1. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the funding agencies.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

April M. Zeoli, Jason Goldstick, Amanda Mauri, Mikaela Wallin, Monika Goyal and Rebecca Cunningham have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.

Human and animal rights and Informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10865_2019_63_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminal JusticeMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens ConsortiumUniversity of Michigan School of MedicineAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of Michigan School of MedicineAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Management and PolicyUniversity of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Children’s National Medical CenterThe George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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