Impulse Purchases, Gun Ownership and Homicides: Evidence from a Firearm Demand Shock

100 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2019

See all articles by Christoph Koenig

Christoph Koenig

University of Bristol; CAGE

David Schindler

Tilburg University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2019


Do firearm purchase delay laws reduce aggregate homicide levels? Using variation from a 6- month countrywide gun demand shock in 2012/2013, we show that U.S. states with legislation preventing immediate handgun purchases experienced smaller increases in handgun sales. Our findings indicate that this is likely driven by comparatively lower purchases among impulsive consumers. We then demonstrate that states with purchase delays also witnessed comparatively 2% lower homicide rates during the same period. Further evidence shows that lower handgun sales coincided primarily with fewer impulsive assaults and points towards reduced acts of domestic violence.

Keywords: guns, murder, Sandy Hook, gun control, impulsiveness

JEL Classification: K420, H760, H100, K140

Suggested Citation

Koenig, Christoph and Schindler, David, Impulse Purchases, Gun Ownership and Homicides: Evidence from a Firearm Demand Shock (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7833, Available at SSRN: or

Christoph Koenig (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, Avon BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

CAGE ( email )

Premier Business Centre
47-49 Park Royal Road
London, NW10 7LQ
United Kingdom

David Schindler

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE

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