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The Impact of Gun Ownership Rates on Crime Rates: A Methodological Review of the Evidence

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... Third, most of the existing research in the US on gun ownership either uses no controls or a small number of covariates or confounders in the relationship between gun policy/gun ownership and homicide rates. In a review of fourty-one studies of the methodological aspects of the relationship between gun ownership and homicide rates by Kleck (2015), only three studies ( Kleck and Patterson, 1993;Kovandzic et al., 2012Kovandzic et al., , 2013) use a valid proxy for gun prevalence, accounts for its endogenous nature and includes more than five significant control variables. ...
... However, state-level analysis masks intra-state variation in violence, organ donor supply and in their potential causes because they are more heterogenous than counties. For example, states with high violence rates might have high gun prevalence, favoring the "more guns, more crime" hypothesis where in fact parts 1 See Hahn et al. (2005) and Lee et al. (2017) for a review on gun control laws and violence and Hepburn and Hemenway (2004) and Kleck (2015) on gun ownership and violence. of those states with high violence rates are not the ones with high gun prevalence ( Kleck et al., 2016). ...
... This study contributes to a large body of literature on the effects of gun control laws and gun prevalence on gun homicide rates in the US. Kleck (2015) shows that all prior studies on the effects of gun levels on crime that used a valid proxy for gun levels and valid instruments for gun prevalence reached similar conclusions (i.e. more guns, at the least, do not mean more crime) while those that neglect both aspects tend to favor the "more guns more crime" hypothesis. The current analysis is highly consistent with this pattern. ...
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The likelihood of being a potential deceased organ donor is higher for individuals who have been exposed to situations typically characterized by a severe head trauma or stroke that result in brain death. Employing count data models that account for overdispersion and/or excessive counts of zeros, this paper assesses the unintended consequences of enforcing stricter gun control laws and the effects of gun ownership on homicide organ donor supply in the United States using county data for the period 2009-2015. The findings confirm the transplantation paradox hypothesis that stricter gun control laws reduce the expected cases of gun homicides and thereby reduce deceased organ donor supply and exacerbate the organ shortage. The findings are robust to several measures of the strength of gun control laws, restricted samples and spurious outcome variables. However, the direction of the impact of gun ownership levels on homicide organ donor supply proved to be inconclusive.
... Despite these important differences, the larger gun-crime literature is informative, particularly regarding how best to approach examining this relationship from a methodological standpoint. More specifically, critiques of this trajectory of research have attributed the considerable variation in findings due to studies' limitations (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013. Such limitations include a reliance on descriptive and bivariate analyses despite the likelihood of feedback relationships (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013, the lack of non-firearm outcomes and other important controls (Britt et al. 1996;Kleck 2001), and measurement issues motivating the need for alternative variables (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013LaFree 1999). ...
... More specifically, critiques of this trajectory of research have attributed the considerable variation in findings due to studies' limitations (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013. Such limitations include a reliance on descriptive and bivariate analyses despite the likelihood of feedback relationships (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013, the lack of non-firearm outcomes and other important controls (Britt et al. 1996;Kleck 2001), and measurement issues motivating the need for alternative variables (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013LaFree 1999). The reliance on small sample sizes (Hemenway and Miller 2000;Killias 1993a;Kleck 2015) and less attention directed toward the potentially confounding influence of outliers (Rosenbaum 2012) have also been noted as important issues in prior research. ...
... More specifically, critiques of this trajectory of research have attributed the considerable variation in findings due to studies' limitations (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013. Such limitations include a reliance on descriptive and bivariate analyses despite the likelihood of feedback relationships (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013, the lack of non-firearm outcomes and other important controls (Britt et al. 1996;Kleck 2001), and measurement issues motivating the need for alternative variables (Kleck 2015;Kovandzic et al. 2012Kovandzic et al. , 2013LaFree 1999). The reliance on small sample sizes (Hemenway and Miller 2000;Killias 1993a;Kleck 2015) and less attention directed toward the potentially confounding influence of outliers (Rosenbaum 2012) have also been noted as important issues in prior research. ...
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Objectives: This study examines the association between a country’s gun availability and firearm-related terrorism. Methods: Employing data from 140 countries, we assess the possible relationship between a country’s rate of suicide by firearm and their count of terrorist attacks involving a firearm through a series of structural equation models. Results: Collectively, we find that there is a positive relationship between gun availability and firearm-related terrorism in 2016 and 2017. However, this result fails our robustness check and is sensitive to the inclusion of the U.S. Conclusion: With important caveats, we believe the U.S. to be unique in terms of both gun availability and terrorism.
... Even less of an empirical consensus exists over how victimization or perceived risk of victimization influences gun ownership (for review, see Kleck, Kovandzic, Saber, & Hauser, 2011). The inconsistent findings are likely due to methodological differences between studies, including the measurement of gun ownership (Kleck, 2015). Furthermore, the literature suffers from several other methodological shortcomings including the inability of researchers to correctly model causal order between gun ownership and fear of crime, the failure to include relevant covariates such as both objective and subjective measures of neighborhood crime, and narrow measures of perceptions of police that may not fully encompass individual attitudes toward agents of formal social control (Kleck, 2015;Kleck et al., 2011). ...
... The inconsistent findings are likely due to methodological differences between studies, including the measurement of gun ownership (Kleck, 2015). Furthermore, the literature suffers from several other methodological shortcomings including the inability of researchers to correctly model causal order between gun ownership and fear of crime, the failure to include relevant covariates such as both objective and subjective measures of neighborhood crime, and narrow measures of perceptions of police that may not fully encompass individual attitudes toward agents of formal social control (Kleck, 2015;Kleck et al., 2011). ...
... Macro-level research tends to find positive associations between rates of crime and gun ownership (Bice & Hemley, 2002;Kleck, 1979;McDowall & Loftin, 1983). Methodologically sound assessments of this relationship do not support the hypothesis that more guns lead to more crime, but rather the opposite (Kleck, 2015). ...
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This study reexamines the collective security hypothesis of gun ownership using data collected from residents of the city of Detroit, Michigan. In addition, we seek to determine whether the effects of perceptions of police, fear of crime, and victimization on individual-level gun ownership are attenuated by neighborhood levels of informal social control. Our findings indicate that police satisfaction remains a robust predictor of gun ownership, in that those who are less satisfied with police are more likely to own a firearm for defensive purposes. Moreover, the effects of this variable remain unaffected by the inclusion of informal social control. These results confirm a number of previously identified correlates of gun ownership remain influential and suggest that improving perceptions of police among the public may lead to fewer firearms in circulation among the public.
... There is, however, more than one theoretical mechanism that may be responsible for the positive relationship between FA and crime: (a) FA is a predictor of violent crime, (b) increased crime affects FA, (c) or the combination of both (Kovandzic, Schaffer, & Kleck, 2013). The last mechanism has received considerable academic attention in recent years, due to the availability of quality data and statistical techniques that allow to test cause-andeffect relationship addressing the simultaneity or reverse causation (Kleck, 2015;Kovandzic, Schaffer, & Kleck, 2013). ...
... Therefore, the number of gun registrations or gun licenses does not fully represent the prevalence of legal firearm ownership, as it is designed to do. Difficulties in capturing the prevalence of illegal or legal FA led researchers to devise approximately 20 proxy measures (Kleck, 2015). One example of FA measures is what is often referred to as "Cook's Index," which estimates the availability of firearms by averaging the percentages of suicides and homicides involving guns (Cook, 1978). ...
... Several studies state that the best or most valid measures of gun ownership are measures derived from survey data or percentage of suicide by guns (Azrael et al., 2004;Kleck, 2004Kleck, , 2015. Consequently, researchers have utilized household and individual firearm ownership rates in their analyses, using the General Social Survey (GSS) data set (Miller, Azrael, & Hemenway, 2002). ...
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Violence involving firearms poses a serious threat to public safety in urban areas. The present study examines how illegal firearm availability (IFA) is related to firearm violence at the neighborhood level. We analyzed 3 years (from 2005 to 2007) of recovered firearm and violent index crime data from Newark, New Jersey. Violent index crime is separated into three categories by level of firearm use: shootings, display of firearm violence (DFV), and no-firearm violence (NFV). Negative binominal regression was conducted to examine the relationship between IFA and firearm violence at the neighborhood level while controlling for neighborhood conditions. Firearm violence is prevalent in Newark: over 90% of homicides and 47% of robberies were committed with a firearm. IFA is related to increased shootings and NFV, but not to DFV. IFA is a robust predictor of shootings in Newark, New Jersey. Neighborhood conditions influence IFA and firearm violence. IFA may reflect neighborhood distress level, given that areas with high IFA experience increased firearm violence as well as NFV. The local clustering of violent crime suggests placed-focused policing strategies aimed at removing firearms would aid in curbing serious firearm violence in urban neighborhoods.
... Second, previous studies of the relation between street culture and gun violence have neglected to control for the potential influence of gun availability. As noted by Kleck (2004Kleck ( , 2015, failure to simultaneously consider the influence of subculture and gun availability may lead to faulty conclusions as a result of potential spuriousness. Finally, the extant literature has not accounted for the possible confluence between incident setting and victim-offender relationship, or how the entrenchment of disadvantage and violence may condition this association. ...
... The contextual unit of analysis and population cutoff each represent a departure from conventional practice. The use of counties is necessitated by the inclusion of the potentially confounding influence of gun availability, a valid proxy for which is publicly available only at the county level or higher (Kleck, 2015;Kovandzic et al., 2013). While larger than neighborhoods or cities, counties are smaller and maintain greater internal homogeneity in comparison with Metropolitan Statistical Areas or states. ...
... Accordingly, we include a spatially based P* measure of residential integration expressed as a probability that a randomly drawn White resident will reside in the same census tract with a randomly drawn Black resident (Bell, 1954;Lieberson, 1981;Massey & Denton, 1988). Furthermore, consistent with the works of Kovandzic et al. (2013) and Kleck (2004Kleck ( , 2015, we control for gun availability with the 3-year average (2009-2011) of the percentage of suicides committed by gun. These data, which are not race-specific and are not publicly available for units smaller than very populous counties (i.e., populations ≥200,000), are drawn from the CDC WONDER database. ...
Article
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Anderson’s thesis of a code of the street has been broadly applied to the study of violence, but race- and gender-specific multilevel analyses of gun violence are scant within the literature. An unresolved debate also surrounds the link between violent victimization and adherence to street culture; underscored by an apparent reputation–victimization paradox among those who engage in street behaviors. The current study contributes to the literature by assessing the direct influence of incident setting and victim–offender familiarity on the likelihood of gun use by Black males in the course of aggravated assaults; and the degree to which the confluence of these factors is conditioned by levels of disadvantage and violence in the community. To accomplish this, we apply hierarchical generalized linear modeling to incident-level data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System in conjunction with contextual-level data from the counties in which the incidents are nested. Our findings suggest victim–offender familiarity and public settings are negatively associated with gun violence and the confluence of these factors further reduces the probability of gun use. This relationship, however, is conditioned by levels of disadvantage and violence in the community, providing preliminary evidence of both the violence increasing and decreasing effects of street culture hypothesized by Anderson.
... This disagreement in the findings from existing studies might be attributable, in part, to the differences in research design across the different studies. Kleck's (2015) methodological review of studies found such links are significant. Kleck (2015) highlighted three methodological issues in existing studies: the measure of gun prevalence, control variables used, and potential endogeneity between violent crime rates and gun availability. ...
... Kleck's (2015) methodological review of studies found such links are significant. Kleck (2015) highlighted three methodological issues in existing studies: the measure of gun prevalence, control variables used, and potential endogeneity between violent crime rates and gun availability. Altheimer (2010) and Land, McCall, and Cohen (1990) also suggested that the impact of some predictors of violent crime could vary at different units of analysis. ...
... Beyond these explanations for the mixed findings of the association between violent crime and firearm availability, as informed by Kleck (2015), Land et al. (1990), and Altheimer (2010), we present here an alternate perspective that is based on spatial dependence and spatial nonstationarity. These two considerations are fundamental properties of most spatial data (Han and Gorman 2013), but they have not been accounted for in most existing studies in the literature on firearm availability and violent crime. ...
Article
The linkage between firearms and violent crime has been documented in several criminological research efforts, with different conclusions. This study explores the relationship between gun availability and gun-related violent crimes, using the city of Detroit, Michigan, as a case study. Based on the primary role of federal firearm licensees (FFLs) as a spigot for the flow of firearms into communities, spatial accessibility to FFL locations is used as a measure of gun availability. Global regression models are used to investigate the association between gun-related crime rates and spatial accessibility to FFL locations. Geographically weighted regression (GWR) is also employed to assess such spatially varying accessibility across the study area. In the global models, gun availability and selected population variables explained up to 46 percent of the variation in crime rates. The GWR model explained 59 percent of the variation in crime rates. The analysis shows a global significant positive effect of gun availability on gun-related crime rates, with strong spatial variability across the study area. The results suggest a significant linkage between gun-crime rates and spatial accessibility to FFL in the study area. Based on the findings, the location and activities of FFL dealers might be a contributing factor to the rates of gun-related crimes.
... In the empirical literature, many researchers have estimated correlational associations between gun ownership rates and general crime and violence, but this work is inconclusive (Kleck, 2015;Shetgiri, Boots, Lin, & Cheng, 2016;Siegel, Ross, & King III, 2013). Investigations of gun control regulations have exhibited more consistent associations with lower crime and violence (Andres & Hempstead, 2011;Fleegler et al., 2013;Hurka & Knill, 2020;Smith & Spiegler, 2020). ...
... Researchers have sought to identify factors underlying gun crime and violence (Duggan, 2001;Sanchez et al., 2020;Siegel et al., 2013). The central argument behind gun control debates is that high accessibility of guns increases the likelihood of gun crime and violence, so many studies have investigated the relationship between gun ownership and crime and violence (Kleck, 2015;Siegel et al., 2013). This line of inquiry presents mixed results. ...
... Three separate literature reviews offer different conclusions, reporting that gun ownership is related to greater crime and violence (Hepburn & Hemenway, 2004); associated with no change or less crime and violence (Kates & Mauser, 2006); or that the literature is inconclusive (National Research Council, 2005). Kleck (2015) argues that these inconsistencies are partly attributable to substantial variation in the methodological rigor of studies. In Kleck's (2015) review of the literature, methodologically rigorous studies tended not show an association between gun prevalence and crime and violence. ...
Article
Purpose This study examines the relationship between state gun ownership rates and school firearm incidents (n = 1275) and injured/killed victims (n = 2026) of these incidents over a forty-year period (1980–2019). It also investigates whether child access prevention, minimum age requirements for gun purchases, and mandatory gun safety training laws are associated with fewer school firearm incidents and injured/killed victims. Methods Data were linked together from the School Shootings Database, State Firearm Law Database, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the US Census Bureau. State fixed effects and interrupted time series analyses were performed. Results State gun ownership rates declined between 1980 and 2019 while school firearm incidents generally ranged between 20 and 40 incidents before skyrocketing to 102 incidents in 2018 and 110 incidents in 2019. Findings were mixed on the relationship between state gun ownership rates and school firearm incidents and injured/killed victims. Additionally, child access prevention, minimum age requirements for gun purchases, and mandatory gun safety training laws exhibited weak and inconsistent relationships with school firearm incidents. Discussion Although access to firearms plays an undeniable role in school shootings, it remains unclear what policies are needed to reduce these incidents. Future research may be needed to explore holistic approaches to addressing this problem.
... Boas ou ruins, a maior parte das pesquisas aponta na direção de que quanto mais Kleck (2015) revisou 41 estudos em língua inglesa que testaram a hipótese de que níveis mais altos de prevalência de armas causam taxas mais altas de criminalidade, especialmente taxas mais altas de homicídio. Cada estudo foi avaliado se resolvia cada um do que ele chama de três problemas metodológicos críticos. ...
... O economista Thomas Conti (2017), da Unicamp, fez uma compilação e revisão da literatura. Contudo, conforme visto, há alertas (Kleck, 2004;2015;Kovandzic et al., 2008) de que a maioria tem qualidade metodológica ruim e que os mais rigorosos não encontram suporte para a hipótese "mais armas, mais crimes". ...
Article
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A maior parte das pesquisas sobre armas e violência apresenta problemas metodológicos e as mais rigorosas são menos propensas a apoiar a hipótese “mais armas, mais crimes”, chegando algumas a encontrar resultados ambíguos. É necessário separar duas situações distintas (mais armas para não-criminosos e mais armas para criminosos), e isso é um desafio, sob pena de não se captar os diferentes efeitos por elas causados. Os pesquisadores que encontram que mais armas reduzem mortes destacam o efeito dissuasão (maior poder de autodefesa implica maior custo do crime para o criminoso). Quem encontra que mais armas aumentam mortes destaca o efeito difusão (maior disponibilidade incentiva o uso de violência para solução de conflitos interpessoais, acidentes e suicídios, e reduz o preço no mercado ilegal para o criminoso). Dada a pouca quantidade de pesquisas rigorosas sobre o tema, não é possível tirar conclusões seguras de um lado (mais armas, mais crimes) ou de outro (mais armas, menos crimes). As poucas pesquisas feitas para o Brasil que buscam estabelecer uma relação de causalidade tendem a apoiar a hipótese “mais armas, mais crimes”, mas apenas para crimes contra a pessoa, e não para crimes contra o patrimônio, que são mais numerosos. Uma lei de controle de armas não é um bom instrumento de política de segurança pública. Se o Estado quer combater homicídios, as evidências são mais seguras em relação ao efeito incapacitação (retirar criminosos de circulação com o encarceramento).
... A previous review byHepburn & Hemenway (2004)concluded that access to a firearm does increase the likelihood that it will be used in a violent crime. However,Kleck (2015)recently conducted a critique of these studies and, after controlling for methodological deficits, concluded that firearm ownership rates do not have a noticeable effect on firearm violence rates. Ilgen and colleagues (2008) evaluated firearm ownership using data from the National Comorbidity Study: Replication study. ...
... " This did not account for firearms availability more generally (e.g., through other locations) and access was not correlated with violence (Ilgen et al., 2008). The results from the review papers byHepburn & Hemenway (2004) andKleck (2015)did not evaluate gun availability for mentally ill persons specifically. In short, it remains unclear whether availability of firearms actually increases the risk for firearm violence among mentally disordered person who would be disqualified from owning a gun. ...
Article
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High-profile incidents of weapon-involved violence have galvanized public outrage, legislative proposals, and executive orders concerning individuals with mental illness and weapon access, particularly firearms. A review of public surveys and policy polls reveals multiple assumptions about the relationship between mental illness and violence, which have informed firearm prohibitions aimed at the mentally ill. However, few of these assumptions have been empirically investigated. With community (n = 154) and forensic psychiatric samples (n = 80), this study utilized a series of questionnaires to assess policy opinions, psychopathic traits, experiences with firearms, and perpetration rates for weapon-involved violence. Mental health files were also reviewed for psychiatric patients. Results indicated the prevalence of firearm violence was low among both samples but relatively higher among psychiatric patients. When looking at experiences with firearms more generally between the samples, psychiatric patients reported significantly more exposure to firearms in youth, were more likely to have acquired firearms from illegal means in the past, and were disproportionately more often victims of violence and violence with a weapon. By contrast, community participants endorsed greater knowledge of firearm safety practices, ammunition, and federal firearm regulations. Weapon-involved violence that did not entail a firearm was also examined. All firearm perpetrators also identified as “other weapon perpetrators.” Similar to firearm violence, psychiatric patients were significantly more likely than community participants to report using other types of weapons to threaten or harm another person. Approximately half of the psychiatric sample endorsed weapon violence with some other type of weapon. Correlates of other weapon violence included features of childhood disruption, criminal history, and substance abuse. Among the psychiatric sample, a classification model using these covariates successfully distinguished between other weapon perpetrators and non-perpetrators. Notably, severe mental illness did not differentiate between groups. Overall, the majority of psychiatric patients did not report engaging in weapon-involved violence, either with a firearm or another weapon. Features of weapon-involved violence were comparable to those of violence generally. Findings did not support the underlying assumptions about weapon-involved violence and mental illness. Results of this study have implications for policy, clinical practice, and research in this area. Advisor: Mario J. Scalora
... Only one study to our knowledge has assessed the concurrent influence of both illegal and legal gun availability on firearm homicide rates, specifically across counties in South Carolina (Stolzenberg & D'Alessio, 2000). Second, significant data limitations have made it difficult to generate reliable and validated measures of gun availability (Kleck, 2015). Studies have used broad proxies of gun availability, yet in almost all cases researchers have not made a distinction between legal and illegal types of access. ...
... Results from community-level ecological studies, however, remain less conclusive. Many of these studies have employed broad measures of gun availability such as the ratio of firearm suicides to all suicides (FS/S) (Siegel et al., 2013), the proportion of firearm-related homicides (Shenassa et al., 2006), or the number of gun owner licenses and registrations (see Azrael et al., 2004;Kleck, 2015 for overviews of measurements in prior research). Although numerous cityand state-level studies have found a positive relationship between gun availability and violent crime (Altheimer, 2008;Dierenfeldt et al., 2017;McDowall, 1991;Semenza et al., 2020;Steidley et al., 2017;Yu et al., 2020), select studies have also uncovered a negative association (Bordua, 1986;Kleck & Patterson, 1993). ...
Article
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This study examines how legal and illegal firearm availability correspond to subsequent rates of firearm and non-firearm homicide in 226 U.S. cities from 2010 through 2017. We also assess how city-level economic disadvantage conditions this relationship. Results show that greater availability of illegal guns corresponds to future rates of firearm homicide while the rate of legal firearms dealers does not significantly influence firearm homicide. The association between firearm availability and homicide is conditional upon level of structural economic disadvantage. Our findings support efforts to decrease access to illegal firearms to reduce gun violence, especially among vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
... Many authors argue that stricter regulations reduce gun accessibility and availability, which reduces the likelihood of violent crimes and accidental shootings (Braman & Kahan 2006;Cook & Goss 2014). By contrast, others emphasize that easy accessibility increases public safety, as guns might produce a deterrence effect that reduces violence (Kleck 2015). Moreover, these authors argue that stricter laws will not affect the number of guns already available (Lott 2010). ...
... For a review of these studies, seeHepburn and Hemenway (2004). A critical methodological review was also recently published byKleck (2015).2 For example, a range of contributions examined the effects of policy interventions in Australia (e.g. ...
Article
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In this contribution, we evaluate the effectiveness of firearm regulations in curbing the number of homicides and suicides committed both with and without firearms. We develop a gun control index that enables us to compare the restrictiveness of firearm regulations across time and space. We model the effects of gun control on figures of (gun) homicide and (gun) suicide gained from public health records in 16 West European countries between 1980 and 2010. We thus shift the analytical focus away from the United States, which can be considered an extreme case in many ways and analyze the effects of gun control in a least likely setting: a world region in which gun control is comparably strict to begin with. Our analysis demonstrates that stricter gun control entails a strong and robust negative effect not only on homicides and suicides committed with firearms, but also on overall homicide and suicide rates.
... Unfortunately, research on the effect of gun levels on homicide and other crime rates has generally been of poor quality [10]. Mathematical models can be useful to analyze some aspects of the evolution of crimes due to legal and/or illegal firearms. ...
... Since even in this limit of weak gun control the quantities x, y and z depend on λ, it is clear that a substantial number of per capita crimes will be committed by civilians if they own legal guns. This can be an important result regarding firearms' control [9,10]. ...
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We propose a simple mathematical model to describe the evolution of violent crimes. For such purpose, we built a model based on ordinary differential equations that take into account the number of violent crimes and the number of legal and illegal guns. The dynamics is governed by probabilities, modeling for example the police action, the risk perception regarding crimes that leads to increase of ownership of legal guns, and so on. Our analytical and numerical results show that, in addition to the rise of criminality due to the presence of illegal guns, the increase of legal guns leads to a fast increase of violent crimes, suggesting that the access of firearms by civilians is not a good option regarding the control of crimes.
... Unfortunately, research on the effect of gun levels on homicide and other crime rates has generally been of poor quality [10]. Mathematical models can be useful to analyze some aspects of the evolution of crimes due to legal and/or illegal firearms. ...
... Since even in this limit of weak gun control the quantities x, y and z depend on λ, it is clear that a substantial number of per capita crimes will be committed by civilians if they own legal guns. This can be an important result regarding firearms' control [9,10]. ...
Article
Full-text available
We propose a simple mathematical model to describe the evolution of violent crimes. For such purpose, we built a model based on ordinary differential equations that take into account the number of violent crimes and the number of legal and illegal guns. The dynamics is governed by probabilities, modeling for example the police action, the risk perception regarding crimes that leads to increase of ownership of legal guns, and so on. Our analytical and numerical results show that, in addition to the rise of criminality due to the presence of illegal guns, the increase of legal guns leads to a fast increase of violent crimes, suggesting that the access of firearms by civilians is not a good option regarding the control of crimes.
... registration offices, so FSS is comparable across geography and time. Kleck (2015) found that 12 of the 19 studies of guns and crime published since 2000 used FSS as a proxy for firearm prevalence. ...
... Although firearm licenses have been studied previously, we do not know of any prior work that distinguished TFP from LFP or evaluated proxies for LFP. Kleck (2015) documents the extensive use of proxies for firearm prevalence in the literature studying links between guns and crime. He counts 19 proxies used by 41 published studies, but concludes that "none of the proxies used in prior research, including [FSS], have been shown to be valid for purposes of judging trends over time. ...
Article
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Product acquisition policies define legal markets. Policy evaluations require data but prevalence data are not always available. We introduce Legal Firearm Prevalence (LFP), a direct behavioral measure based on the population of firearm licensees in Massachusetts, and argue that it can help evaluate firearm sales and usage restrictions. LFP is not directly measurable in most firearm markets, so we test candidate proxies for LFP in several common research designs, finding that firearm acquisitions are the best proxy in every research design tested. We update the classic study of guns and crime by Cook and Ludwig (2006), finding that choosing an invalid proxy can lead to false research conclusions. We recommend systematic collection and reporting of firearm acquisition data to improve firearm research and inform firearm policy.
... [30][31][32] This association is not without complication, however, as there has been mixed evidence on whether rates of gun ownership are associated with rates of crime. 33,34 In addition, there may be moderating factors between gun purchasing and injury, such as whether the purchaser is a new or existing gun owner. 35 We aimed to identify, by examining more than 100 major mass shootings that took place in the United States during the past 2 decades, whether these shootings were associated with significant changes in gun purchasing behavior. ...
Article
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Importance Increased understanding of public response to mass shootings could guide public health planning regarding firearms. Objectives To test the hypothesis that mass shootings are associated with gun purchasing in the United States and to determine factors associated with gun purchasing changes. Design and Setting In a cross-sectional study, monthly data on US background checks for all firearm purchases, handgun permits, and long gun permits between November 1, 1998, and April 30, 2016, were obtained from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. All mass shootings resulting in 5 or more individuals injured or killed during the study period were also identified. Interrupted autoregressive integrated moving average time-series modeling was used to identify events associated with changes in gun purchase volume. Then, logistic regression was used to identify event characteristics associated with changes in gun purchases. Analyses were performed between June 6, 2016, and February 5, 2019. Exposures For the time-series analysis, each mass shooting was modeled as an exposure. In the logistic regression, examined factors were the shooter’s race/ethnicity, the region in the United States in which a shooting occurred, whether a shooting was school related, fatalities, handgun use, long gun use, automatic or semiautomatic gun use, media coverage level, and state political affiliation. Main Outcomes and Measures Identification of major mass shootings significantly associated with changes in gun purchases, and the identification of event-specific factors associated with changes in gun purchases. Results Between November 1998 and April 2016, 124 major mass shootings and 233 996 385 total background checks occurred. A total of 26 shootings (21.0%) were associated with increases in gun purchases and 22 shootings (17.7%) were associated with decreases in gun purchasing. Shootings receiving extensive media coverage were associated with handgun purchase increases (odds ratio, 5.28; 95% CI, 1.30-21.41; P = .02). Higher-fatality shootings had an inverse association with handgun purchase decreases (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.53-1.00; P = .049). Conclusions and Relevance The findings of this study suggest an association between mass shootings and changes in gun purchases, observed on a comprehensive timescale. Identification of media coverage and fatalities as significant factors underlying this association invites further study into the mechanisms driving gun purchase changes, holding implications for public health response to future gun violence.
... With these caveats in mind, the current study represents advances over prior research in that it specifically examines various types of criminal violence, including gun violence, which is consistently of interest to researchers across fields [33]. To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the first studies to directly examine the association between a measure of macro-level blood lead and an indicator of firearm crimes in addition to homicide and rape [17][18]34]. ...
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Context An increasing body of research has linked the geographic distribution of lead with various indicators of criminal and antisocial behavior. Objective The current study, using data from an ongoing project related to lead exposure in St. Louis City, MO, analyzed the association between aggregate blood lead levels and specific indicators violent crime within the city. Design Ecological study. Setting St. Louis, Missouri. Exposure measure Blood lead levels. Main outcome measure Official reports of violent crimes were categorized as 1) crimes involving a firearm (yes/no), 2) assault crimes (with or without a firearm), 3) robbery crimes (with or without a firearm), 4) homicides and 5) rape. Results With the exception of rape, aggregate blood-lead levels were statistically significant predictors of violent crime at the census tract level. The risk ratios for each of the outcome measures were as follows: firearm crimes 1.03 (1.03–1.04), assault crimes 1.03 (1.02–1.03), robbery crimes 1.03 (1.02–1.04), homicide 1.03 (1.01, 1.04), and rape 1.01 (0.99–1.03). Conclusions Extending prior research in St. Louis, results suggest that aggregated lead exposure at the census tract level predicted crime outcomes, even after accounting for important sociological variables. Moving forward, a more developed understanding of aggregate level crime may necessitate a shift toward studying the synergy between sociological and biological risk factors such as lead exposure.
... Many Americans seek firearms for self-defense or to protect their property from criminals, and research demonstrates a positive association between firearm sales and both perceptions of criminal victimization risk and actual crime rates in a locality (Gau, 2008;Kleck et al., 2011;Lizotte and Bordua, 1980;Lizotte et al., 1981). Some have argued that firearm prevalence might be a positive correlate of crime by increasing the number of guns available for would-be criminals to use (Cook and Ludwig, 2006), while others have argued that higher levels of firearm prevalence may correlate with crime rates due to reverse causality where citizens seek firearms for protection (Kleck, 2015). It is beyond the scope of this paper to assess the causal ordering of firearm prevalence and crime (interested readers should see Wellford et al., 2004), but it is important to note that locations with higher crime rates may have higher rates of firearm sales, especially for handguns which are often sought explicitly for self-defense (Wyant and Taylor, 2007). ...
... handgun carrying among adolescents is a serious public health and policy concern (Barry, McGinty, Vernick, & Webster, 2015;Blum, 2001;Braga, 2012;Fowler, Dahlberg, Haileyesus, & Annest, 2015;Kleck, 2015;Muula, Rudatsikira, & Siziya, 2008;O'Toole & Fondacaro, 2017;Siegel et al., 2014;Welsh, Braga, & Sullivan, 2014;Wintemute, 2015aWintemute, , 2015b. While it is well established that male adolescents are more likely to carry handguns (Vaughn, Perron, Abdon, Olate, & Wu, 2012) and engage in antisocial behavior generally (Eme, 2010), relatively less is known regarding the prevalence and correlates of handgun carrying among female adolescents. ...
Article
Handgun carrying is associated with a wide range of delinquent behaviors, but very little is known about sex differences in this behavior and current trends in handgun carrying in the United States. Using data from the 2002 to 2015 National Study of Drug Use and Health surveys, we found that the prevalence of handgun carrying among girls nearly doubled from 0.9% to 1.7% with most of this increase seen among non-Hispanic White and Hispanic girls. Although boys are more likely to carry handguns, approximately 20% of the total handgun carrying by adolescents in the United States occurs among girls. Both male and female adolescents who have carried a handgun in the past year evince a behavioral profile that is characterized by substance use, versatile delinquency, elevated risk propensity, and substantial school and family problems. However, adjusted odds ratios are consistently higher for females, suggesting that girls who engage in handgun carrying represent an important subgroup of potentially pernicious offenders that should be targeted for primary and tertiary prevention and juvenile justice system oversight.
... Underscoring the link between guns and suicide, the extant literature consistently reports a strong connection between availability and access to guns and suicides committed with a gun. In fact, suicides committed with a gun are viewed as the most accurate and readily available proxy measure of access to firearms in communities across the U.S. [47]. ...
Article
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Gun violence is a growing public health crisis in America. Approximately 1,500 children per year die from gun violence in the United States. Approximately 800 children are shot and killed, another 600 die by gun suicide and 100 shoot themselves or someone else because of improperly stored firearms [1-3]. This manuscript highlights the need for social workers and allied health professionals to play a key role in preventing intentional and unintentional child shootings by educating clients and communities about safe gun practices. This manuscript describes the “Be SMART for Kids” program, a strengths-based, empowerment model with a nonconfrontational approach to talking about guns and gun safety. Practical information for implementing the Be SMART model by incorporating it into everyday conversations, public health practices, education and policy are also described.
... Gun-related deaths caused by mass shootings, homicides, violent crime, and accidental and negligent injuries, have engendered massive public support for the passage of gun control legislation; however, gun rights advocates have opposed these efforts, arguing that guns can be used for self-protection and to deter violent crime, thereby reducing crime (Baker, 1992). Gun rights advocates also argue that limiting access to guns by law-abiding people makes them more vulnerable to armed criminals, who are the least likely to obey firearms laws (Kleck, 2015). While the conversation on gun reform has become highly politicized and divisive, most Americans, including gun owners, support a variety of gun control policies. ...
... Seguindo a mesma linha, Kwon et al. (1997) com estes autores, a lei de controle de armas de fogo reduziu crimes como roubo à mão armada e tentativa de homicídios. Kleck (2015) Inicialmente, é importante definir o parâmetro g, que representa a lei no modelo proposto. A respeito da lei, pressupõe-se duas condições iniciais: todos os cidadãos têm direito de portar armas de fogo (g = 1) e nenhum cidadão pode portar armas de fogo (g = 0). ...
... Изменения законодательства о правилах выдачи оружия на уровне штатов привлекли большое внимание исследователей к вопросу о том, какое влияние это оказывает на общую криминогенную ситуацию. В американской криминологии существует целая исследовательская традиция изучения связи уровня преступности и количества огнестрельного оружия, находящегося на руках у населения, причем первые исследования такого рода относятся к 1930-м годам [Brearley, 1932] [Kleck, 2015]. Эта статья содержит таблицу, отображающую результаты всех основных исследований, посвященных данной теме с 1932 года [Kleck, 2015, р. 42-43]. ...
Article
В рамках данного обзора в сжатом виде представлены основные выводы исследования Джона Лотта, получившего название «Больше оружия, меньше преступлений». Лотт и ряд других авторов приходят к выводу, что увеличение доступности огнестрельного оружия для на-селения-это самый эффективный способ борьбы с преступностью. В частности, сокращение уровня преступности в США в 1990-е годы этой группой авторов объясняется «либерализацией» законодательства по выдаче лицензий на ношение оружия. В предлагаемом обзоре пред-ставлен также альтернативный взгляд на проблему, согласно которому «либерализация» правил выдачи оружия ведет не к сокращению коли-чества насильственных преступлений, а, наоборот, к его увеличению. Автор считает, что дискуссии в рамках gun control studies обусловлены стремлением разных политических сил использовать результаты эм-пирико-правовых исследований в качестве аргумента в ходе идеологи-Победоносцев Алексей Владимирович-магистрант политологии факуль-тета политических наук и социологии Европейского университета в Санкт-Петербурге. Научные интересы: политическая экономия, демократизация, методология эмпирических исследований, политическая теория. The article examines the construction of a legitimate law through the prism of the effectiveness problem. The empirical-legal studies are considered to be one of the most important ways to assess the effectiveness of laws. The main part of the article is devoted to the question, «How do empirical legal studies in the United States evaluate the effectiveness of local legislation for licenses to carry firearms through its impact on the level of violent crimes?» The author makes a review of the gun control studies research area. Particularly, the article provides the short overview of the main results of John Lott’s study, called «More guns, less crime». Lott and other authors have concluded that an increase in the availability of firearms for the population is the most effective way to fight against crime. Additionally, the reduction of crime in the United States in the 1990s, for instance, is explained by the «liberalization» of legislation on issuing licenses to bear arms. An alternative approach to the problem is also given in the review: according to it, the «liberalization» of gun rules did not lead to the reduction in the number of violent crimes, but to the increase of it. The author believes that the debates within the gun control studies can be explained by the desire of various political forces to use the results of empirical legal studies as an argument in the ideological disputes over the rules, which facilitate firearms carrying. According to the author, Lott’s study, in spite of its engagement, has played an important role in making the idea, that simplified issuing of weapons rules is an effective way to fight with crime, popular among the American politicians. In other words, while the effectiveness of new issuing of firearm licenses rules in the United States was being proved, these rules were being justified as «legitimate».
... For instance, Knopov et al. using survey data as a proxy for prevalence determined an association between firearms prevalence and youth suicide rates after controlling for a number of social economic factors [9]. There is considerable debate about the validity of proxies used for firearm prevalence in the United States and this may affect the validity of the results depending on the measure used [27,28]. It is probable that licensing is a more accurate proxy for firearms prevalence than other methods such as surveys or suicide rates by firearm, as it is a mandatory requirement for owning firearms in Canada. ...
Article
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Canada implemented a series of laws regulating firearms including background and psychological screening, licensing, and training in the years 1991, 1994, and 2001. The effects of this legislation on suicide and homicide rates were examined over the years 1981 to 2016. Models were constructed using difference-in-difference analysis of firearms and non firearms death rates from 1981 to 2016. In addition, negative binomial regression was used to test for an association between rates of suicide by Canadian Province and firearms prevalence, using licensing rates as a proxy for prevalence. No associated benefit from firearms legislation on aggregate rates of male suicide was found. In men aged 45 to 59 an associated shift from firearms suicide after 1991 and 1994 to an increase in hanging resulted in overall rate ratios of 0.994 (95%CI, 0.978,1.010) and 0.993 (95%CI, 0.980,1.005) respectively. In men 60 and older a similar effect was seen after 1991, 1994, and 2001, that resulted in rate ratios of 0.989 (95%CI, 0.971,1.008), 0.994 (95%CI, 0.979,1.010), and 1.010 (95%CI, 0.998,1.022) respectively. In females a similar effect was only seen after 1991, rate ratio 0.983 (95%CI, 0.956,1.010). No beneficial association was found between legislation and female or male homicide rates. There was no association found with firearm prevalence rates per province and provincial suicide rates, but an increased association with suicide rates was found with rates of low income, increased unemployment, and the percentage of aboriginals in the population. In conclusion, firearms legislation had no associated beneficial effect on overall suicide and homicide rates. Prevalence of firearms ownership was not associated with suicide rates. Multifaceted strategies to reduce mortality associated with firearms may be required such as steps to reduce youth gang membership and violence, community-based suicide prevention programs, and outreach to groups for which access to care may be a particular issue, such as Aboriginals.
... However, to some observers, widespread access to guns induces a deterrent effect on criminal behavior as offenders' fear of confronting potentially armed victims should dissuade them from crime (Kates & Mauser 2006, Lott 2010. The proposed negative relationship between firearm availability and crime reduction (or "more guns, less crime") has been generally unsubstantiated when sound measurement and methodological strategies are utilized (Cook & Ludwig 2006a, Kleck 2015. And although guns certainly give some law-abiding citizens the opportunity to escape injury at the hands of violent criminals, it remains unclear how often guns are actually used in self-protection. ...
Article
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One of the central debates animating the interpretation of gun research for public policy is the question of whether the presence of firearms independently makes violent situations more lethal, known as an instrumentality effect, or whether determined offenders will simply substitute other weapons to affect fatalities in the absence of guns. The latter position assumes sufficient intentionality among homicide assailants to kill their victims, irrespective of the tools available to do so. Studies on the lethality of guns, the likelihood of injury by weapon type, offender intent, and firearm availability provide considerable evidence that guns contribute to fatalities that would otherwise have been nonfatal assaults. The increasing lethality of guns, based on size and technology, and identifiable gaps in existing gun control policies mean that new and innovative policy interventions are required to reduce firearm fatalities and to alleviate the substantial economic and social costs associated with gun violence. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Criminology, Volume 4 is January 13, 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
... The empirical results in the literature are mixed as well. Most papers conclude that gun prevalence cause violent crimes (see, among others, McDowall, 1991;Cook and Ludwig, 1998;Ludwig, 1998;Stolzenberg and D'Alessio, 2000;Duggan, 2001), though a few studies advocate it deters (property) crimes (Lott and Mustard, 1997;Bartley and Cohen, 1998;Kleck, 2015). ...
Article
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There is a consensus in the literature that the ratio of suicides committed with guns to total suicides is the best indirect measure of gun ownership. However, such a proxy is not accurate for any locality with low population density in view that suicides are rare events. To circumvent this issue, we exploit the socioeconomic characteristics of the suicide victims in order to come up with a novel proxy for gun ownership. We assess our indicator using suicide micro-data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health between 2000 and 2010.
... Although methodological flaws impair the conclusiveness of both models (cf. Ayres, 2009; Kleck, 2015; Piquero, 2007; Tonso, 2004), both stances have in common a concept of the rationality of social behaviour, whereby social action is the result of a conscious actor who reasons about consequential costs and benefits of their conduct. This has let politicians to predominantly focus on introducing strict legislation, enforced by effective policing to deter unauthorized persons from illegally obtaining, trading or using firearms. ...
Article
Despite a shared understanding across the European Union (EU) that access to firearms by the general public should be restricted, detailed legislation regarding the ownership, use and trade of firearms varies between EU member states. It is unclear, however, how such variations impact on the policing of gun-enabled crime. By using qualitative data generated from interviews with police, policy and decision makers from 13 European countries, we aim to determine how stakeholders perceive that national variations in firearms legislation affect the policing of gun-enabled crime within and across EU countries. Four main themes were identified from the qualitative data: disparities in legislation, disparities in the priority given and the resources allocated to investigations into gun-enabled crime, as well as interventions. Owing to the aforementioned disparities, cross-national investigations into incidents of gun crime are at risk of remaining impaired in their effectiveness. Therefore, more legislative coherency as well as sustainable long-term interventions will be needed to successfully reduce ownership and use of firearms in the criminal world. In this context, a departure from an exclusive use of an economic model of gun crime is recommended to allow for a better understanding of the dynamics of the black gun market.
... A number of studies document negative impacts of firearms legislation and prevalence, such as increased suicide and homicide rate, although evidence is not unambiguous. From an extensive literature review, Kleck (2015) concludes that guns diffusion is a positive determinant of crime rate, but this relation looses statistical significance in the most methodologically rigorous papers. Branas et al. (2009) find that possessing a gun increases the probability of being shot during an assault, thus dismantling the opinion of weapons having a protective role. ...
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Among industrialized countries, U.S. holds two somehow inglorious records: the highest rate of fatal police shootings and the highest rate of deaths related to firearms. The latter has been associated with strong diffusion of firearms ownership largely due to loose legislation in several member states. The present paper investigates the relation between firearms legislation\diffusion and the number of fatal police shooting episodes using a seven-year panel dataset. While our results confirm the negative impact of stricter firearms regulations found in previous cross-sectional studies, we find that the diffusion of guns ownership has no statistically significant effect. Furthermore, regulations pertaining to the sphere of gun owner accountability seem to be the most effective in reducing fatal police shootings.
... Specifically, we calculated each state's average age-adjusted rate of gun suicides per 100,000 population for the period 2007-2018. We chose this measure as recommended by Kleck (2015) in his methodological assessment of measures of gun prevalence. ...
Article
Debates over concealed carrying of guns on campus (CCOC) usually classify states as either “allowing” or “prohibiting” CCOC, thus ignoring research revealing state firearm regulatory frameworks are more nuanced. This study examined whether such subtleties existed in state CCOC regulatory frameworks by analyzing states’ 2018 CCOC regulatory provisions. Results showed that states used a multi-categorical restrictiveness-by-institutional discretion framework to regulate CCOC. In addition, indicators of intrastate contexts of influence (firearms, political, and religious) on regulatory policy differed across categories of restrictiveness and institutional discretion. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed significant differences in indicators of states’ political contexts, and post hoc comparisons of paired marginal means revealed significant differences in political indicators between states prohibiting CCOC and those allowing or those with mixed restrictiveness, and between states according schools full discretion and those according schools no discretion. Implications of the results are discussed for state-level research on firearms regulation and the ongoing CCOC debate.
... Although relatively rare in the aggregate, violence stemming from handguns increases the likelihood that encounters will become lethal (Braga, 2012;Farrington et al., 2012;Reich et al., 2002). As such, handgun carrying among adolescents is a serious public health concern (Blum, 2001;Fowler et al., 2015;Muula et al., 2008;Siegel et al., 2014) and public policy issue (Barry et al., 2015;Braga, 2012;Cross and Pruitt, 2013;Kleck, 2005Kleck, , 2015Wintemute, 2015a,b). ...
... Although relatively rare in the aggregate, violence stemming from handguns increases the likelihood that encounters will become lethal (Braga, 2012;DeLisi, Piquero, & Cardwell, 2014;Farrington, Loeber, Stallings, & Homish, 2012;Reich, Culross, & Behrman, 2002). As such, handgun carrying among adolescents is a serious public health concern (Blum, 2001;Fowler, Dahlberg, Haileyesus, & Annest, 2015;Muula, Rudatsikira, & Siziya, 2008;Siegel et al., 2014) and public policy issue (Barry et al., 2015;Braga, 2012;Cross & Pruitt, 2014;Kleck, 2005Kleck, , 2015Wintemute, 2015aWintemute, , 2015b. ...
Article
The objective of the present study was to examine trends and correlates of handgun carrying among adolescents ages 12-17 in the United States. Data was derived from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) involving non-Hispanic white, African American, and Hispanic respondents ages 12-17 (n = 197,313) and spanning the years 2002-2013. Logistic regression was used to examine significance of trend year and correlates of previous 12-month handgun carrying. The overall self-reported prevalence of handgun carrying was 3.4%. The prevalence of handgun carrying during 2004-2005 was significantly higher for African-Americans (4.39%) compared to non-Hispanic whites (3.03%). However, by 2012-2013, non-Hispanic whites (4.08%) completely diverged and reported carrying handguns significantly more than both African-American (2.96%) and Hispanic (2.82%) youth. Male gender and a number of externalizing behaviors were significant correlates of handgun carrying; however, we also found evidence of differential correlates with regard to such factors as drug selling, parental affirmation, and income by race/ethnicity. To our knowledge, this is the largest study of handgun carrying among youth in the United States. Findings indicate that although at historically low levels handgun carrying is on the rise but only among non-Hispanic Whites. Differential correlates among racial/ethnic groups suggest prevention programming and policies may need modifications depending on group and geographic locale targeted.
... The third is self-defence because when a potential victim is armed, he or she is more likely to try to use a gun to avoid an attack. The use of weapons by potential victims reduces the likelihood of injury (Kleck, 2015). ...
Article
Guatemala has one of the highest firearm homicide rates and gun ownership per capita in the world. This paper discusses the extent to which it stands as a case to add to the routine activity hypothesis versus the fear hypothesis. Using a negative binomial regression model, this study tested the relationship between firearm possession and homicide rates in its municipalities in 2018. A new dataset at the municipal level on firearm possession and ownership for 2018 was obtained from DIGECAM. The data were obtained from the National Civil Police and the 2018 Population and Housing Census. The authors found empirical evidence stating that the absence of security, justice institutions, and regional subculture of violence leads the population to use firearms due to fear or perceived risk of self-protection.
Thesis
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Diplomová práce se zabývá otázkou, zda je současná politika legálního držení střelných zbraní adekvátní. Pozornost je věnována nástrojům této politiky a nezamýšleným důsledkům. V empirické části jsou užity rozhovory s odborníky z vybraných oblastí a byla provedena dotazníková šetření u držitelů zbrojního průkazu a žadatelů o jeho vydání. Práce zkoumá nové hledisko vlivu zbraní na zvládání mimořádných událostí a soužití s migranty. The aim of this dissertation is to present the issue of legal possession of firearms in the Czech Republic and identify problematic areas within this topic. Dissertation examines whether the current policy of legal possession of firearms is adequate, considering all consequences that this possession brings. Considerable attention is paid to this policy tools and unintended consequences. Dissertation uses the method of desk-research. Within its boundaries content analysis and comparison of available data and documents is made. In the empirical part semi-standardized questionnaire with experts selected from specific areas was conducted as well as a questionnaire survey with license applicants and holders. The main bodies of theory are cultural theory of risk and other heuristics describing distorted risk perception, as well as ethnic security dilemma, which is relevant considering the current threats. Particular empirical support was found, which suggests misperception of risks, when insignificant risks –as driving force for firearms acquisition – are overrated. Firearms holders and applicant are therefore influenced by unfounded fear. Dissertation shows new perspective on the impact of weapons in dealing with emergencies and coexistence with migrants. Examined group of firearms license holders and applicant shows a high level of fear of migrants and refugees, what is currently a reason of significant increase of new applicants. These mostly theoretical concerns, however, require further research and serve as rather inspirational than a comprehensive valid study. Identified legal firearm possession policy gaps have partial character and interventions and large system changes bring risk of unintended consequences. In the current situation of combined fears, specifically stemming from extreme violence, should public policy makers consider rather incremental changes.
Article
The prevalence of gun violence in the United States has resulted in extensive examination of structural covariates of gun crime. Within this literature, the potential influence of institutionally isolated youth and illegal, rather than legal, gun availability are unexplored. Similarly, studies that simultaneously examine the influence of structural disadvantage and Southern culture of honor are scant. We add to the literature by assessing the direct and moderated relationships between these measures and gun crime in a sample of U.S. cities (n= 189) through negative binomial regression of data procured from the NIBRS and ACS. Framed within the context of macro-level strain, institutional anomie, and the Southern culture of honor hypothesis, we find that illegal gun availability and structural disadvantage maintain direct relationships with city-level gun crime counts. In addition to direct effects, we report several significant moderated relationships—providing a more holistic understanding of the structural covariates of gun crime.
Article
Despite a wealth of research finding that adolescents who carry handguns are involved in risky behaviors, there has been little exploration into the heterogeneity of this behavior. Using a pooled sample of 12- to 17-year-olds from the National Study on Drug Use and Health who report past-year handgun carrying (N = 7,872), this study identified four subgroups of handgun carriers: low risk (n = 3,831; 47.93%), alcohol and marijuana users (n = 1,591; 20.16%), fighters (n = 1,430; 19.40%), and severe externalizers (n = 1,020, 12.51%). These subgroups differed on demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial characteristics. Findings are discussed in light of prevention and focused deterrence.
Article
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I argue that location-specific gun bans (commonly known as “gun-free zones”) are typically unjust. If there is a right to carry firearms outside of one’s home, then the state cannot prohibit gun owners from carrying their firearms into certain areas without assuming a special duty of protecting those whom it coercively disarms. This task is practically impossible in most of the areas where guns are commonly banned. Gun owners should therefore be allowed to carry their guns in most public places, including college campuses.
Article
en Seeking to test two commonly proposed solutions to gun deaths in the United States, we examine the extent to which (1) tougher gun control laws, (2) greater access to mental health services, and (3) a combination of both approaches affect the rate of gun deaths in American states. We find that tougher gun control laws, as well as a combination of both approaches, are associated with a lower overall rate of gun deaths, and with a lower rate of nonsuicide gun deaths, while only tougher gun control laws are significantly associated with a reduction in the rate of gun‐related suicides. Our findings serve as an initial guide to policymakers seeking to reduce the rate of gun deaths in their states. 摘要 zh 针对美国因枪支因素引发的死亡, 目前主要有两种解决方法:(1)实行更严格的枪支管制法律, (2)提供更多关注精神健康的服务。为检验这两种方法, 我们分别考察这两种方法, 以及(3) 两种方法结合起来, 会在多大程度上影响美国各州由枪支引发的死亡的比率。我们发现, 更严格的枪支管制法律, 以及两种方法的结合, 都可以导致较低的总体枪支致死率以及非自杀性枪支致死率。然而, 对于自杀性枪支致死率, 只有更严格的枪支管制法律与其相关。我们的研究结果, 可以为那些寻求降低本州枪支致死率的政策制定者提供初步指导。
Article
Although studies have analyzed the effects of “stand your ground” (SYG) laws on violent crime, the question of why states are more likely to take measures to allow gun violence (albeit in self-defense) in the public sphere remains understudied in the literature. Using a fixed-effects event-history analysis of a panel of longitudinal state-level data for the period 2005–2012, we expand upon recent research by testing three competing perspectives on the adoption of SYG laws: group threat, political partisanship, and crime. Despite rhetorical framing of SYG laws as a means of self-defense from predatory criminals by gun-rights organizations, we find no effect of crime on the passage of SYG laws. Nor do we find evidence for group threat. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed. Instead, results support the political partisanship view, providing further evidence of the politicization of gun policy in the contemporary United States.
Article
Many on both sides of the gun control debate are under the impression that the best way to settle it is by weighing outcomes in the context of a utilitarian cost-benefit analysis. This article suggests that this way of thinking about the gun control debate is fundamentally mistaken. What matters is not the risk (or lack thereof) that guns pose to society, but simply whether guns are a reasonable means of self-defence when used to resist crimes. What this means is that even if we were to grant the claim that gun ownership decreases average safety, it wouldn't follow that restrictive gun control measures would be justified.
Article
This article assesses the locally varying effects of gun ownership levels on total and gun homicide rates in the contiguous United States using cross‐sectional county data for the period 2009–2015. Employing a multiscale geographically weighted instrumental variables regression that takes into account spatial nonstationarity in the processes and the endogenous nature of gun ownership levels, estimates show that gun ownership exerts spatially monotonically negative effects on total and gun homicide rates, indicating that there are no counties supporting the “more guns, more crime” hypothesis for these two highly important crime categories. The number of counties in the contiguous United States where the “more guns, less crime” hypothesis is confirmed is limited to at least 1258 counties (44.8% of the sample) with the strongest total homicide‐decreasing effects concentrated in southeastern Texas and the deep south. On the other hand, stricter state gun control laws exert spatially monotonically negative effects on gun homicide rates with the strongest effects concentrated in the southern tip of Texas extending toward the deep south.
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The likelihood of being a potential deceased organ donor is higher for individuals who have been exposed to situations typically characterized by a severe head trauma or stroke that result in brain death. Employing count data models that account for overdispersion and/or excessive counts of zeros, this paper assesses the unintended consequences of enforcing stricter gun control laws and the effects of gun ownership on homicide organ donor supply in the United States using county data for the period 2009-2015. The findings confirm the transplantation paradox hypothesis that stricter gun control laws reduce the expected cases of gun homicides and thereby reduce deceased organ donor supply and exacerbate the organ shortage. The findings are robust to several measures of the strength of gun control laws, restricted samples and spurious outcome variables. However, the direction of the impact of gun ownership levels on homicide organ donor supply proved to be inconclusive.
Article
Objectives To assess the extent to which crime, Hispanic‐to‐white population changes, black‐to‐white population changes, and conservative political appeals affect gun permit application rates across Texas counties. Methods This article uses spatial lag regression and robust regression with county‐level data to assess structural sources of variation in handgun permitting across Texas counties in 2016. Conclusions Spatial and robust regression model results confirm that median incomes, Republican votes, and rising rates of Hispanic‐to‐white populations are significant predictors of handgun permit application rates. The results call attention to the centrality of Hispanic threat and the prevalence of partisan politics in aggregate permit‐seeking processes.
Article
Empirical research has increasingly turned its attention to ways that international phenomena impact the human condition within countries. International influences have been shown to affect human rights, health, and quality of life within societies. They may also impact microlevel phenomena such as violent criminal behavior. In this study, we build on such recent scholarship and research that bridges the theoretical and empirical gap between international relations research and criminology. Our analysis examines the cross-national relationship between interstate small arms transfers and domestic homicide rates. We suspect that some proportion of weapons from the legal small arms trade find their way into the hands of societal actors and that a prevalence of firearms in society may be associated with elevated homicide rates. State strength should mitigate this relationship, as strong states should have greater ability to manage and to control legal arms shipments than their weaker counterparts. Cross-national empirical tests of small arms flows and homicide rates from 2000 to 2014 support our theoretical claims. They also demonstrate that legal small arms transfers impact only certain types of violent crimes.
Article
We analyze the largest set of nations (n = 55) with a valid measure of gun ownership levels ever used to test the effect of national gun levels on homicide rates. We control for measures of national culture to better isolate the effects of firearm availability. We find that, while national gun levels have a significant positive bivariate correlation with homicide rates, once one controls for violence-related cultural differences between nations, the association disappears. With this larger, more diverse set of nations, the U.S. is not influential – gun levels are unrelated to homicide rates regardless of whether it is included in the analysis.
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This study attempts to determine the role of firearms in accounting for the rising homicide rate in Detroit. Firearms were examined in relation to other weapons and subsequently firearm availability was examined in relation to other variables that could affect the rate of homicides. A majority of the increase in the homicide rate could be attributed to an increase in handgun murders. Firearm availability accounted for one quarter of the rise in homicides.
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This article examines the relationship between firearm availability and homicide rates in Detroit, Michigan. Noting the difficulties involved in measuring gun density, the analysis uses an indicator based on the relative frequency with which firearms are employed in robberies and suicides. Models estimated from time-series data are consistent with the argument that higher levels of firearm density increased the risk of homicide in the city. A variety of supplementary analyses support this finding and suggest that the effect of gun availability on Detroit's homicide rates is relatively large.
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Objectives: We examined the relationship between gun ownership and stranger versus nonstranger homicide rates. Methods: Using data from the Supplemental Homicide Reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports for all 50 states for 1981 to 2010, we modeled stranger and nonstranger homicide rates as a function of state-level gun ownership, measured by a proxy, controlling for potential confounders. We used a negative binomial regression model with fixed effects for year, accounting for clustering of observations among states by using generalized estimating equations. Results: We found no robust, statistically significant correlation between gun ownership and stranger firearm homicide rates. However, we found a positive and significant association between gun ownership and nonstranger firearm homicide rates. The incidence rate ratio for nonstranger firearm homicide rate associated with gun ownership was 1.014 (95% confidence interval=1.009, 1.019). Conclusions: Our findings challenge the argument that gun ownership deters violent crime, in particular, homicides.
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Using four years of county-level data drawn from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) for South Carolina and a pooled cross-sectional time-series research design, we investigate whether gun availability is related to violent crime, gun crime, juvenile gun crime, and violent crimes committed with a knife. We contribute to the literature by distinguishing between illegal and legal gun availability and by using a comprehensive measure of gun crime. Results show a strong positive relationship between illegal gun availability and violent crime, gun crime, and juvenile gun crime. Little or no effect for the legitimate gun availability measure is observed in any of the estimated models. Findings also reveal that illegal guns have little influence on violent crimes committed with a knife. Offenders seem not to be substituting knives or other cutting instruments when illegal firearms become less available. A supplemental analysis also indicates no evidence of simultaneity between gun availability and violent crime. The strong and consistent effect of illegal rather than legal gun availability on violent crime has important policy implications, because it suggests that greater attention should be directed at devising ways for legitimate gun owners to better secure their weapons.
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A variety of claims about possible associations between gun ownership rates, mental illness burden, and the risk of firearm-related deaths have been put forward. However, systematic data on this issue among various countries remain scant. Our objective was to assess whether the popular notion "guns make a nation safer" has any merits. Data on gun ownership were obtained from the Small Arms Survey, and for firearm-related deaths from a European detailed mortality database (World Health Organization), the National Center for Health Statistics, and others. Crime rate was used as an indicator of safety of the nation and was obtained from the United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends. Age-standardized disability-adjusted life-year rates due to major depressive disorder per 100,000 inhabitants with data obtained from the World Health Organization database were used as a putative indicator for mental illness burden in a given country. Among the 27 developed countries, there was a significant positive correlation between guns per capita per country and the rate of firearm-related deaths (r = 0.80; P <.0001). In addition, there was a positive correlation (r = 0.52; P = .005) between mental illness burden in a country and firearm-related deaths. However, there was no significant correlation (P = .10) between guns per capita per country and crime rate (r = .33), or between mental illness and crime rate (r = 0.32; P = .11). In a linear regression model with firearm-related deaths as the dependent variable with gun ownership and mental illness as independent covariates, gun ownership was a significant predictor (P <.0001) of firearm-related deaths, whereas mental illness was of borderline significance (P = .05) only. The number of guns per capita per country was a strong and independent predictor of firearm-related death in a given country, whereas the predictive power of the mental illness burden was of borderline significance in a multivariable model. Regardless of exact cause and effect, however, the current study debunks the widely quoted hypothesis that guns make a nation safer.
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Objectives: We examined the relationship between levels of household firearm ownership, as measured directly and by a proxy-the percentage of suicides committed with a firearm-and age-adjusted firearm homicide rates at the state level. Methods: We conducted a negative binomial regression analysis of panel data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting Systems database on gun ownership and firearm homicide rates across all 50 states during 1981 to 2010. We determined fixed effects for year, accounted for clustering within states with generalized estimating equations, and controlled for potential state-level confounders. Results: Gun ownership was a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates (incidence rate ratio = 1.009; 95% confidence interval = 1.004, 1.014). This model indicated that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%. Conclusions: We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.
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This study assessed the impact of sixteen types of victim self protection (SP) actions on three types of outcomes of criminal incidents: first, whether the incident resulted in property loss, second, whether it resulted in injury to the victim, and, third, whether it resulted in serious injury. Data on 27, 595 personal contact crime incidents recorded in the National Crime Victimization Survey for the 1992 to 2001 decade were used to estimate multivariate models of crime outcomes with logistic regression. Results indicated that self-protection in general, both forceful and nonforceful, reduced the likelihood of property loss and injury, compared to nonresistance. A variety of mostly forceful tactics, including resistance with a gun, appeared to have the strongest effects in reducing the risk of injury, though some of the findings were unstable due to the small numbers of sample cases. The appearance, in past research, of resistance contributing to injury was found to be largely attributable to confusion concerning the sequence of SP actions and injury. In crimes where both occurred, injury followed SP in only 10 percent of the incidents. Combined with the fact that injuries following resistance are almost always relatively minor, victim resistance appears to be generally a wise course of action.
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Crime and legal work are not mutually exclusive choices but represent a continuum of legal and illegal income-generating activities. The links between crime and legal work involve trade-offs among crime returns, punishment costs, legal work opportunity costs, and tastes and preferences regarding both types of work. Rising crime rates in the 1980s in the face of rising incarceration rates suggest that the threat of punishment is not the dominant cost of crime. Crime rates are inversely related to expected legal wages, particularly among young males with limited job skills or prospects. Recent ethnographic research shows that involvement in illegal work often is motivated by low wages and harsh conditions in legal work. Many criminal offenders "double up" in both leg al work and crime, either concurrently or sequentially. This overlap suggests a fluid and dynamic interaction between legal and illegal work. Market wages and job opportunities interact with social and legal pressures to influence decisions to abandon crime for legal work. Explanations of the patterns of legal and illegal work should be informed by econometric, social structural, and labeling theories. The continuity of legal and illegal work, suggests the importance of illegal wages in research and theory on criminal decision making.
Background: In the United States, only motor vehicle crashes and cancer claim more lives among children than do firearms. This national study attempts to determine whether firearm prevalence is related to rates of unintentional firearm deaths, suicides, and homicides among children. Methods: Pooled cross-sectional time-series data (1988-1997) were used to estimate the association between the rate of violent death among 5-14 year olds and four proxies of firearm availability, across states and regions. Results: A statistically significant association exists between gun availability and the rates of unintentional firearm deaths, homicides, and suicides. The elevated rates of suicide and homicide among children living in states with more guns is not entirely explained by a state's poverty, education, or urbanization and is driven by lethal firearm violence, not by lethal nonfirearm violence. Conclusion: A disproportionately high number of 5-14 year olds died from suicide, homicide, and unintentional firearm deaths in states and regions where guns were more prevalent.
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This paper explores the relationship between access to handguns, gun control laws, and the incidence of violence associated with firearms. Utilizing F.B.I. data, census materials, vital statistics and Harris and Gallup surveys in a multiple regression statistical framework, gun control laws have no significant effect on rates of violence beyond what can be attributed to background social conditions. This lack of effect may be due to the laws not effectively controlling access to firearms. The data supported this contention. Finally, differential access to handguns seems to have no effect on rates of violent crime and firearms accidents, another reason why gun control laws are ineffective.
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Homicide is defined by the author as violent death which is neither a suicide nor an accident. He presents chapters on the extent of homicide in the United States; explanations of the high rate; the slaying; the slain and the slayer; the negro and homicide; the punishment of homicide; homicide and other social phenomena; and seasonal variation in homicide. Every chapter definitely indicates further avenues for research. The work may be summarized as follows: In the United States one's life is far less safe than in European nations; any explanation of this phenomenon should take account of the influence of "folkways or culture patterns, most of them survivals of more barbarous days, when human life was little esteemed"; the high rate will probably remain high until there is "a marked improvement in the regulation of the sale and possession of concealed firearms"; the slayer is characteristically a "weakling in conflict, who is unable to solve his conflict except by the destruction of the one who thwarts him"; the issue concerning the negro and homicide is so much confused with other issues that a special investigation is urgently needed; punishment for homicide is far from swift and certain and is probably futile, and will remain so until public attitudes and values, especially those emphasizing the worth of human life, are appreciably changed; homicide seems to be associated with rapidly increasing population and the growth of cities; seasonal influences may possibly affect the homicide rate in the U. S., but the relationship is not established. Bibliography of 115 references. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This study attempts to determine the role of firearms in accounting for the rising homicide rate of one city. Firearms were examined in relation to other weapons and subsequently firearm availability was examined in relation to other variables that could affect the rate of homicides. A majority of the increase in the homicide rate could be attributed to an increase in handgun murders. Firearm availability accounted for one-quarter of the rise in homicides.
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This paper examines the hypothesis that crime rates and the availability of firearms form a “vicious circle,” so that increases in one lead to increases in the other. Two waves of panel data are used to estimate the relationship between rates of robbery and the relative availability of guns in a sample of large U.S. cities. The results indicate that total robbery rates and gun availability had no influence on each other, but that weapons choice in robbery and gun availability did form a mutually reinforcing cycle. Some implications of these findings are considered.
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Using county level data for the state of Illinois, we constructed a path analytic model predicting legal gun ownership for men. women, and minors. We consider the interplay between situational and cultural variables in determining legal ownership. Two patterns of firearms ownership are identified: (1) gun ownership among women as a response to high rales of violent crime and (2) a sporting culture. Neither pattern has strong relations to urban-rural differences amoung counties. Legal gun ownership is not necessarily related to a violent subculture. Ownership may be part of, a response to, or totally unrelated to a subculture of violence.
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The choices of potential victims and of criminals with respect to weapons were analyzed in an economic game framework. It was found, using National Crime Victimization Study data, that victims who have and use guns have both lower losses and lesser injury rates from violent crime. It was also found that the victim's choice of having a gun is not independent of the criminal's choice. Based on these findings, the consequences of having a greater portion of the potential victims being armed were analyzed. It was found that this would reduce both losses and injuries from crime as well as both the criminals' incentives to commit violent crimes and to be armed.
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This article reviews the most commonly cited, representative, empirical studies in the peer-reviewed literature that directly investigate the association of gun availability and homicide victimization. Individual-level studies (n=4) are reviewed that investigate the risks and benefits of owning a personal or household firearm. The research suggests that households with firearms are at higher risk for homicide, and there is no net beneficial effect of firearm ownership. No longitudinal cohort study seems to have investigated the association between a gun in the home and homicide. Two groups of ecological studies are reviewed, those comparing multiple countries and those focused solely on the United States. Results from the cross-sectional international studies (n=7) typically show that in high-income countries with more firearms, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide. Time series (n=10) and cross-sectional studies (n=9) of U.S. cities, states, and regions and for the United States as a whole, generally find a statistically significant gun prevalence–homicide association. None of the studies prove causation, but the available evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that increased gun prevalence increases the homicide rate.
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Incluye bibliografía e índice
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 1997. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 38-41).
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This paper examines the relationship between gun ownership and crime. Previous research has suffered from a lack of reliable data on gun ownership. I exploit a unique data set to reliably estimate annual rates of gun ownership at both the state and the county levels during the past two decades. My findings demonstrate that changes in gun ownership are significantly positively related to changes in the homicide rate, with this relationship driven almost entirely by an impact of gun ownership on murders in which a gun is used. The effect of gun ownership on all other crime categories is much less marked. Recent reductions in the fraction of households owning a gun can explain one-third of the differential decline in gun homicides relative to nongun homicides since 1993.
Article
Annual data from 1961-94 are used to estimate a supply and demand model for the new handgun market. The influence of price, income, expenditures on police protection, the violent crime rate, the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 on the number of new handguns per capita is explored. The demand for handguns is elastic; a 1 percent increase in the price of handguns lowers the quantity demanded by 2-3 percent. Further, the demand for handguns is sensitive to the price of other firearms, such as shotguns, to per capita expenditures on law enforcement, and to the lagged violent crime rate. The demand for new handguns increased in the period preceding implementation of the Gun Control Act and the Brady Act. Finally, implementation of the Gun Control Act of 1968 does not appear to have significantly impacted the supply of new handguns. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.
Article
Violence rates differ dramatically across countries. A widely held view is that these differences reflect differences in gun control and/or gun availability, and certain pieces of evidence appear consistent with this hypothesis. A more detailed examination of this evidence suggests that the role of gun control/availability is not compelling. This more detailed examination, however, does not provide an alternative explanation for cross-country differences in violence. This paper suggests that differences in the enforcement of drug prohibition are an important factor in explaining differences in violence rates across countries. To determine the validity of this hypothesis, the paper examines data on homicide rates, drug prohibition enforcement, and gun control policy for a broad range of countries. The results suggest a role for drug prohibition enforcement in explaining cross-country differences in violence, and they provide an alternative explanation for some of the apparent effects of gun control/availability on violence rates. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.