Crime Prevention Research Center Amicus Brief On New York State Rifle & Pistol Association V. Bruen

51 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2021 Last revised: 22 Feb 2022

See all articles by John R. Lott

John R. Lott

Crime Prevention Research Center

Date Written: July 15, 2021


The debate surrounding the Second Amendment sometimes includes a simplistic, false dichotomy which can be summarized as: Guns versus safety. Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding, with a lower conviction rate of misdemeanors or felonies than even police officers, suggesting that there are not well-founded public interest reasons to require proof of “special need” or “proper cause” for a concealed carry permit, or to impose other undue burdens on obtaining one. Indeed, Right-to-Carry states appear to have even lower revocation rates than May-Issue states.

A survey of the empirical academic regression literature finds that 25 studies have found that Right- to-Carry laws reduce violent crime, 15 studies find either small benefits or no significant effect, and 12 find that Right-to-Carry laws increase violent crime.

Additionally, the 12 studies that find increases suffer a systematic error to varying degrees: they tend to focus on the last 20 years, and fail to consider that the states which passed concealed carry laws in that time period have stricter rules and less permit growth than other states that they are being compared to. So their findings that crime rose in such states is consistent with permit holders reducing crime.

A survey of academics who publish empirical peer- reviewed research on guns also finds that most believe that Right-to-Carry laws reduce crime.

Finally, we provide evidence that May-Issue in Los Angeles County, California, discriminates against giving permits to women, blacks, and Hispanics. And that the places forced to adopt Right-to-Carry laws via court orders adopt high fees and difficult training rules that greatly limit the number of people who get permits and disproportionately keep minorities from obtaining permits.

Keywords: Concealed handguns, Right-to-carry Laws, May-Issue Laws, Racial discrimination

JEL Classification: K14, L33

Suggested Citation

Lott, John R., Crime Prevention Research Center Amicus Brief On New York State Rifle & Pistol Association V. Bruen (July 15, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

John R. Lott (Contact Author)

Crime Prevention Research Center ( email )

PO Box 2293
1100 W Kent Ave
Missoula, MT 59801
United States

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