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The Impact of Gun Laws on Police Deaths

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  • Mustard, David B

Abstract

This paper uses state-level data from 1984-96 to examine how right-to-carry laws and waiting periods affect the felonious deaths of police. Some people oppose concealed weapons carry laws because they believe these laws jeopardize law enforcement officials, who risk their lives to protect the citizenry. This paper strongly rejects this contention. States that allowed law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons had a slightly higher likelihood of having a felonious police death and slightly higher police death rates prior to the law. After enactment of the right-to-carry laws, states exhibit a reduced likelihood of having a felonious police death rate and slightly lower rates of police deaths. States that implement waiting periods have slightly lower felonious police death rates both before and after the law. Allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons does not endanger the lives of officers and may help reduce their risk of being killed. Copyright 2001 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Mustard, David B, 2001. "The Impact of Gun Laws on Police Deaths," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 635-657, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:44:y:2001:i:2:p:635-57
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/323312
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Lawrence Southwick, 1998. "An economic analysis of murder and accident risks for police in the United States," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(5), pages 593-605.
    3. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fridell, Lorie & Faggiani, Don & Taylor, Bruce & Brito, Corina Sole & Kubu, Bruce, 2009. "The impact of agency context, policies, and practices on violence against police," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 542-552, November.
    2. McClellan, Chandler & Tekin, Erdal, 2012. "Stand Your Ground Laws and Homicides," IZA Discussion Papers 6705, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Mocan, H Naci & Tekin, Erdal, 2006. "Guns and Juvenile Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 507-531, October.
    4. repec:uwp:jhriss:v:52:y:2017:i:3:p:621-653 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Fortunato, 2015. "Can Easing Concealed Carry Deter Crime?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1071-1085, December.
    6. H. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2003. "Guns, Drugs and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Panel of Siblings and Twins," NBER Working Papers 9824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Anderson, D. Mark & Sabia, Joseph J., 2016. "Child Access Prevention Laws, Youth Gun Carrying, and School Shootings," IZA Discussion Papers 9830, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Depew, Briggs & Swensen, Isaac D., 2016. "The Decision to Carry: The Effect of Crime on Concealed-Carry Applications," IZA Discussion Papers 10236, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Robert E. Hoyt & David B. Mustard & Lars S. Powell, 2005. "The Effectiveness of Insurance Fraud Statutues: Evidence from Automobile Insurance," Risk and Insurance 0501001, EconWPA.
    10. Chandler McClellan & Erdal Tekin, 2017. "Stand Your Ground Laws, Homicides, and Injuries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(3), pages 621-653.

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