Smoking Gun? Linking Gun Ownership to Neighborhood Crime

63 Pages Posted: 5 May 2022

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper


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: or

Stephen B. Billings (Contact Author)

University of Colorado - Boulder ( email )

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

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics