New Study Reveals Stricter Carry Laws Increase Crime

Economist Marc Guis from Quinnipiac University has recently published a new study in the journal Applied Economics Letters. 

An examination of the effects of concealed weapons laws and assault weapons bans on state-level murder rates” looks at data between 1980 and 2009 that suggests that restrictions on carrying concealed had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. According to Guis’ findings, the results of his present study indicate that states with more concealed carry weapons (CCW) laws had gun-related murder rates that we 10% higher. 

Results are presented on Table 1. The CCW dummy variable is significant and positive, but the assault weapons ban is insignificant. Given that the average gun-related murder rate over the period in question was 3.44, the results of the present study indicate that states with more restrictive CCW laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher. In addition, the Federal assault weapons ban is significant and positive, indicating that murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal ban was in effect. These results corroborate the findings of Lott and Mustard (1997). These results suggest that, even after controlling for unobservable state and year fixed effects, limiting the ability to carry concealed weapons may cause murder rates to increase. There may, however, be other explanations for these results. Laws may be ineffective due to loopholes and exemptions. The most violent states may also have the toughest gun control measures. Further research is warranted in this area.

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