Do Firearm Markets Comply with Firearm Restrictions? How the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban Enforcement Notice Changed Registered Firearm Sales
50 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2021 Last revised: 2 Dec 2021
Date Written: December 2, 2021
How well do firearm markets comply with firearm restrictions? The Massachusetts Attorney General issued an Enforcement Notice in 2016 to announce a new interpretation of the key phrase “copies and duplicates” in the state’s assault weapons ban. The Enforcement Notice increased assault rifle sales by 1,349 (+560%) within five days, followed by a reduction of 211 (-58%) over the next three weeks. Assault rifle sales were 64-66% lower in 2017 than in comparable earlier periods, suggesting that the Enforcement Notice reduced assault weapon sales but also that many banned weapons continued to be sold.
Keywords: Assault Weapons, Firearms, Natural experiment, Policy Analysis, Quasi-experiment
JEL Classification: D04, D78, H23, K42, L38, M31, R28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation