9 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2013 Last revised: 23 Feb 2016
Date Written: April 11, 2013
What is the statistical evidence of the effects of state mandatory firearms background check laws on murder rates? For states that adopted or repealed such laws after 1960 (when consistent and high quality murder rate data becomes available), an interrupted time series analysis shows that two out of eight states have statistically significant changes in murder rates. Of the six states with statistically insignificant changes in murder rates, four had higher murder rates during the background check period. This suggests that mandatory background check laws are at best unproven at reducing murder rates.
Keywords: firearms, background checks
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