Impulse Purchases, Gun Ownership and Homicides: Evidence from a Firearm Demand Shock
89 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 24, 2018
Do firearm purchase delay laws reduce aggregate homicide levels? Using quasi-experimental evidence from a 6-month countrywide gun demand shock starting in late 2012, we show that U.S. states with legislation preventing immediate handgun purchases experienced smaller increases in handgun sales. Our findings are hard to reconcile with entirely rational consumers, but suggest that gun buyers behave time-inconsistently. In a second step, we demonstrate that states with purchase delays also witnessed 3% lower homicide rates during the same period compared to states allowing instant handgun access. We report suggestive evidence that lower handgun sales primarily reduced impulsive assaults and domestic violence.
Keywords: K42, H76, H10, K14
JEL Classification: Guns, murder, Sandy Hook, gun control, impulsiveness
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation