Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Public Policy and Law

First Advisor

Glenn Falk

Second Advisor

Adrienne Fulco

Third Advisor

John Alcorn


The shooting in Paradise, Nevada in 2017 was one of the worst mass murders in the United States but did not lead to any new gun control policies. In contrast, following a similar event in Nova Scotia in 2020, Canada’s federal government banned over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms. Such different outcomes are the focus of this thesis, which seeks to explore the gun policy making process in Canada and the United States. It explores several factors that lead to remarkably different reactions of the federal governments in each country in the aftermath of a mass shooting. To do so, it examines institutional elements of the policy making process, the significance of the structures of government, the history and evolution of gun laws in either country, and the impact of the Second Amendment and the role of interest groups in the policy making arena.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy & Law.