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The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws

Author

Listed:
  • Carlisle E. Moody
  • Thomas B. Marvell

Abstract

“Shall-issue†laws require authorities to issue concealed-weapons permits to anyone who applies, unless the applicant has a criminal record or a history of mental illness. A large number of studies indicate that shall-issue laws reduce crime. Only one study, an influential paper in the Stanford Law Review (2003) by Ian Ayres and John J. Donohue III, implies that these laws lead to an increase in crime. We apply an improved version of the Ayres and Donohue method to a more extensive data set. Our analysis, as well as Ayres and Donohue’s when projected beyond a five-year span, indicates that shall-issue laws decrease crime and the costs of crime. Purists in statistical analysis object with some cause to some of methods employed both by Ayres and Donohue and by us. But our paper upgrades Ayres and Donohue, so, until the next study comes along, our paper should neutralize Ayres and Donohue’s “more guns, more crime†conclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlisle E. Moody & Thomas B. Marvell, 2008. "The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 5(3), pages 269-293, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:5:y:2008:i:3:p:269-293
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moody, Carlisle E, 2001. "Testing for the Effects of Concealed Weapons Laws: Specification Errors and Robustness," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 799-813, October.
    2. Roland G. Fryer & Paul S. Heaton & Steven D. Levitt & Kevin M. Murphy, 2005. "Measuring the Impact of Crack Cocaine," NBER Working Papers 11318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lott, John R, Jr, 1998. "The Concealed-Handgun Debate," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 221-243, January.
    4. Lott, John R, Jr & Mustard, David B, 1997. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-68, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Econometric Estimates of Deterrence of the Death Penalty: Facts or Ideology?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 448-478, August.
    2. Durlauf, Steven N. & Navarro, Salvador & Rivers, David A., 2016. "Model uncertainty and the effect of shall-issue right-to-carry laws on crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 32-67.
    3. Paul R. Zimmerman, 2010. "The Economics of Capital Punishment and Deterrence," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 16 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Thomas B. Marvell, 2010. "Prison Population and Crime," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    shall-issue; crime; handguns; concealed weapons;

    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

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