The Impact of Gun Laws on Police Deaths
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.
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