Original Research

New Research: Not all right-to-carry laws are the same

21 May , 2021  

Prof. Carl Moody, the CPRC’s Research Director, has a new paper (available here) explaining why so many other papers are making mistakes in how they estimate the impact of concealed handguns on crime rates. The point might seem obvious, that there are huge differences in right-to-carry laws across states, but it is a fact that seems to be ignored by virtually all the other research on both sides of the debate.

) explaining why so many other papers are making mistakes in how they estimate the impact of concealed handguns on crime rates. The point might seem obvious, that there are huge differences in right-to-carry laws across states, but it is a fact that seems to be ignored by virtually all the other research on both sides of the debate.

Abstract

Right-to-carry laws vary across states. There are variations in the requirements to obtain a permit to carry a handgun, the domains within which one may carry, and other features of the law. In some states, there are no fees or training to carry legally. At the other extreme, Illinois charges a fee of $150 and requires 16 hours of training (which one must also pay for). Such rules have measurable effects on the number of people who legally carry. The difficulty of obtaining permits is greater in states that have more recently adopted right-to-carry laws. With only one exception, all the research on right-to-carry laws assumes that these laws are the same across states. Ignoring the fact that these late adopting states with stricter rules on obtaining permits issue relatively few permits can produce perverse results where coefficients imply an increase in crime even though the opposite is the case. We illustrate this conjecture using state panel data.

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1 Response

  1. Tom Campbell says:

    Hitting the link above to SSRN gets a response of “abstract not found.”

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