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

See all articles by Meenakshi Balakrishna

Meenakshi Balakrishna

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Kenneth C. Wilbur

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Date Written: December 2, 2021

Abstract

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

Balakrishna, Meenakshi and Wilbur, Kenneth C., Do Firearm Markets Comply with Firearm Restrictions? How the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban Enforcement Notice Changed Registered Firearm Sales (December 2, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3779510 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3779510

Meenakshi Balakrishna

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Kenneth C. Wilbur (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

HOME PAGE: http://kennethcwilbur.com

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