The Right to Arms: The Criminology of Guns

13 Pages Posted: 9 May 2017

Date Written: 2010


This article seeks to sketch the criminological underpinnings of the Second Amendment right to arms. Most agree with prohibiting possession of firearms by convicted felons, violent misdemeanants and the mentally unbalanced as our laws currently do. But an insistent and articulate minority argues for going further: to banning possession of handguns, or all guns, by ordinary people. This is unfortunate, their argument is preposterous: it is false to assert that most murders are committed by ordinary citizens who kill because they happen to have a firearm in a moment of anger.

Keywords: second amendment, crime, self-defense, guns, gun regulation, murder, crime

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Kates, Don B., The Right to Arms: The Criminology of Guns (2010). Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 86, 2010, Available at SSRN: or

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