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Confirming More Guns, Less Crime

John R. Lott Jr.

Crime Prevention Research Center

Florenz Plassmann

SUNY at Binghamton, Department of Economics

John E. Whitley

University of Adelaide - School of Economics

December 9, 2002

Analyzing county level data for the entire United States from 1977 to 2000, we find annual reductions in murder rates between 1.5 and 2.3 percent for each additional year that a right-to-carry law is in effect. For the first five years that such a law is in effect, the total benefit from reduced crimes usually ranges between about $2 billion and $3 billion per year.

Ayres and Donohue have simply misread their own results. Their own most generalized specification that breaks down the impact of the law on a year-by-year basis shows large crime reducing benefits. Virtually none of their claims that their county level hybrid model implies initial significant increases in crime are correct. Overall, the vast majority of their estimates based on data up to 1997 actually demonstrate that right-to-carry laws produce substantial crime reducing benefits. We show that their models also do an extremely poor job of predicting the changes in crime rates after 1997.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

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Date posted: January 24, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Lott, John R. and Plassmann, Florenz and Whitley, John E., Confirming More Guns, Less Crime (December 9, 2002). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=372361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.372361

Contact Information

John R. Lott Jr. (Contact Author)
Crime Prevention Research Center ( email )
United States
Florenz Plassmann
SUNY at Binghamton, Department of Economics ( email )
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
United States
607-777-4304 (Phone)
John E. Whitley
University of Adelaide - School of Economics ( email )
Adelaide SA, 5005
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