What Do We Know About Firearms in Canada?: A Systematic Scoping Review
Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, recently called for an examination on firearm legislation and for research evidence on best practices to curb gun violence. He also publicly discussed the need to look at the best available evidence to make decisions about firearms in Canada. In light of this, a systematic review of Canadian firearms research was initially attempted; however, searches yielded few results. Given this fruitless finding, a systematic scoping review was conducted of all peer-reviewed, empirical research on firearms in Canada from January 2000 to December 2018 to determine what is the nature and scope of the firearms literature in Canada, as well as what the research findings indicate. Results of the review revealed that the overall volume of peer-reviewed, empirical literature produced during this 18-year period was exceptionally low. In addition, we found significant gaps in the literature, which can impede any future 'evidence-based' approach to firearms in Canada. We discuss these gaps and propose directions for future research to produce better informed Canadian gun policy.
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