Comment on Webster Et Al. (2014) Study of the Impact of the Repeal of Missouri's Handgun Permit Law on Homicide

29 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2017 Last revised: 12 Feb 2018

See all articles by Gary Kleck

Gary Kleck

Florida State University - College of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Date Written: December 1, 2017

Abstract

Daniel Webster and his colleagues (2014) tried to estimate the effect of Missouri (MO) repealing its handgun permit-to-purchase (PTP) law in 2007, using an unsuitable research design, misspecified statistical models, and a biased sample of states. They also examined simple trends in homicide rates in MO and in comparison states. They concluded that the repeal caused an immediate (and astounding) increase of 25% in the firearm homicide rate. They attributed this result at least partially to increased “illegal gun diversion” (a term they never defined). Their results cannot be relied upon to indicate whether the repeal actually caused any homicide increase, or increased movement of guns into criminals’ possession. This comment explains why.

Keywords: gun control, permit-to-purchase

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Kleck, Gary, Comment on Webster Et Al. (2014) Study of the Impact of the Repeal of Missouri's Handgun Permit Law on Homicide (December 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3084736 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3084736

Gary Kleck (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Criminology and Criminal Justice ( email )

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112 S. Copeland Street
Tallahasse, FL 32306-1206
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