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NCJ Number: 200427 Find in a Library
Title: Shooting Down the "More Guns, Less Crime" Hypothesis
Journal: Stanford Law Review  Volume:55  Issue:4  Dated:April 2003  Pages:1193-1398
Author(s): Ian Ayres; John J. Donohue III
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 206
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores the accuracy of the argument presented by John Lott in 1997 and 1998 stating that State laws enabling citizens to carry concealed handguns reduce crime.
Abstract: In a paper published in 1997, John Lott and David Mustard examined the impact of guns on crime in America based on the analysis of 1977-1992 data evaluating the effect of the adoption of shall-issue laws in 10 States and presented a statistical argument that State laws enabling citizens to carry concealed handguns had reduced crime. This argument was reiterated by Lott again in 1998. These works ignited a debate from both sides by academicians and scholars. This article explores whether the message delivered by Lott is in fact true. The article is divided into five parts. Part I analyzes the theory underlying Lott’s empirical project, discussing the ways in which shall-issue laws could dampen or increase crime. Part II explores a host of methodological issues confronted by researchers in estimating the impact of law on crime. Part III examines Lott’s own county dataset to assess the extent to which the “more guns, less crime” result persists in less-constrained specifications with additional years of data. Part IV explores less-constrained regression and part V discusses a hierarchy of possible conclusions to emerge from this empirical work and provides an illustration of how State-specific regression models can potentially provide more nuanced policy recommendations. The conclusion drawn was that of shooting down the more guns, less crime hypothesis. Appendices, figures, tables
Main Term(s): Citizen gun ownership
Index Term(s): Crime control policies; Crime patterns; Firearm-crime relationships; Gun Control; Gun control legislation; Handguns
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