Julia Schleimer, the lead author of the study, told explained that the conclusions reveal that "we need to be looking at other factors, like job loss, economic change, the closure of schools and community organizations and nonprofits, and civil unrest," in order to learn what caused last year’s increase in gun violence.
The research is opposed to the common wisdom touted by a number of politicians, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has condemned the boost in homicides on the increase in gun sales, with Cuomo even signing legislation that would allow victims of gun violence to sue firearms manufacturers, according to Axios.
This connection is based on assessments by researchers at the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis that there were 4.3 million more firearm purchases above anticipated trends from March through July 2020 and a 27% surge in firearm injuries over approximately the same time period.
The only likely connection the new study discovered was to an increase in domestic gun violence injuries through the first two months of the pandemic, when lockdowns were the harders, although its evaluations saw no other links to the increase in both violence and buying guns.
The researchers announced that one reason for this is that most of the excess gun purchases were by those who previously owned firearms, which should have reduced their influence on increasing homicide rates.
Axios further points out that making any kind of associations based on available facts is tough, because national data on homicides from last year is still currently unclear at this point, and there is no definitive database on gun purchases or who has firearms in the United States.
Schleimer admitted that it made sense that politicians and others would cite the surge in gun buying last year as a potential reason that shootings had gone up, though stressed that "Our findings, from this current study, in this particular context, are not supporting that."
Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy Director Daniel Webster continued that the research, which used "rigorous statistical methods," raised interesting questions regarding whether the boost in gun violence might be more firmly connected to the willingness by some Americans throughout the pandemic to carry guns they already owned rather than due to an increase in first-time gun buyers.