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Dueling data on gun crimes put new laws in crossfire

Congress is preparing for its first major debate on federal gun laws in nearly a decade, but first both sides will need to figure out whose facts to use.

In the wake of the deadly school shootings in Newtown, Conn., gun-control advocates point to figures that seem to show a correlation between stricter laws and lower crime and homicide rates. Pro-gun groups, though, say the data show just the opposite — that violence and crime drops where concealed-carry laws are allowed.

The press and the public are caught in the middle, searching for concrete conclusions that are tough to come by.

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