Vari­a­tion in guns laws from state to state may be com­pli­cating law enforce­ment efforts, espe­cially in regions such as New Eng­land, where states are split between restric­tive and largely hands-​​off approaches to gun own­er­ship, according to some gun law spe­cial­ists and gun con­trol advocates.

Those looking to cut gun vio­lence, how­ever, should look beyond rifles, said Jack Levin, a crim­i­nology pro­fessor at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and co-​​director of its Center on Vio­lence and Conflict.

The gun problem in this country has little to do with the preva­lence of semi­au­to­matics,” Levin said. “There are 15,000 single-​​victim mur­ders in the United States every year, about two-​​thirds of which are com­mitted with firearms. The over­whelming majority of these homi­cides are com­mitted with handguns.”

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