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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 185877 Find in a Library
Title: Gun Self-Defense and Deterrence (From Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Volume 27, P 363-417, 2000, Michael Tonry, ed. -- See NCJ-185871)
Author(s): Jens Ludwig
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 55
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637-1496
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
Publicity Director
5801 Ellis Avenue
4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60637-1496
United States of America
Type: Collected Work
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Recent research on the prevalence of defensive gun use has prompted growing concern that government efforts to regulate gun ownership and use may be counterproductive.
Abstract: Estimates of defensive gun use from the National Crime Victimization Survey (on the order of 100,000 per year) appear to be too low, but estimates from one-time telephone surveys (1.5 to 2.5 million per year) appear to be too high. Even a modest rate of false positives may lead to substantial upward bias. A more promising approach is to examine the net effects of gun policies on rates of crime and injury directly. Evidence for a substantial deterrent effect of permissive concealed gun-carrying laws comes from a recent study by Lott and Mustard. This study indicates the implementation of a permissive concealed gun-carrying law reduces the rate of murders and injuries in multiple victim shootings by 0.111 murders/injuries per 100,000 residents. Reanalysis of their data, however, suggests estimated "treatment effects" are due at least in part to unmeasured variables. More recent studies find no evidence of a significant negative effect of concealed gun-carrying laws on crime, although available research is not definitive. The author concludes permissive concealed gun-carrying laws have the potential to reduce crime by enhancing the ability of citizens to use guns in self-defense and thereby deter crime or to increase crime through gun misuse by permitted gun carriers or increased weapon carrying and use by criminals. Since both positive and negative effects are plausible, more empirical evidence is required to determine which effects dominate. 88 references, 13 footnotes, and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
Index Term(s): Citizen gun ownership; Citizen gun use; Criminal justice research; Firearm-crime relationships; Gun Control; Gun control legislation; Self defense; Violence prevention; Weapons violations
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