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More Guns, More Crime

Mark Duggan

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

October 2000

NBER Working Paper No. w7967

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 gun ownership rates at both the state and the county level 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 entirely by the 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 at least one-third of the differential decline in gun homicides relative to non-gun homicides since 1993. I also use this data to examine the impact of Carrying Concealed Weapons legislation on crime, and reject the hypothesis that these laws led to increases in gun ownership or reductions in criminal activity.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 45

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Date posted: October 13, 2000  

Suggested Citation

Duggan, Mark, More Guns, More Crime (October 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7967. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=245849

Contact Information

Mark G. Duggan (Contact Author)
University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )
3115C Tydings Hall
College Park, MD 20742
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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