Smoking Gun? Linking Gun Ownership to Neighborhood Crime

63 Pages Posted: 5 May 2022

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Abstract

Using linked individual data on concealed handgun permits (CHP), reported crimes and arrests, I examine the dynamics of gun-ownership, victimization and neighborhood crime. I initially show that new CHP holders are 68% more likely to be crime victims with the largest increase due to having a firearm stolen. I then estimate the impact of guns on neighborhood crime through a shift-share instrument based on spikes in gun sales after high-profile events that impact beliefs about future gun rights and existing variation in a neighborhood’s share of likely future gun-owners (Republicans). Results show a 5.3% increase in neighborhood crime for the new guns associated with each additional CHP issued. Gun-related crimes suggest a role for guns stolen and moved to the illegal gun market as well as increased use of guns for violent crimes.

Keywords: Neighborhood Crime, Victimization, Gun Ownership

Suggested Citation

Billings, Stephen B., Smoking Gun? Linking Gun Ownership to Neighborhood Crime. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4101076 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4101076

Stephen B. Billings (Contact Author)

University of Colorado - Boulder ( email )

Leeds School of Business
Koelbel Building
Boulder, CO US 80309
United States

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