Comments: Confirming ‘More Guns, Less Crime’

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Comments: Confirming ‘More Guns, Less Crime’

Category: Crime, Firearm Policies, Homicide|Journal: Stanford Law Review|Author: F Plassmann, J Whitley|Year: 2003

Analyzing county-level data for the entire United States from 1977 to 2000, we find annual reductions in murder rates between 1.5% and 2.3% for each additional year that a right to carry law is in effect. For the first five years that such a law is in effect, the total benefit from reduced crimes usually ranges between approximately $2 billion and $3 billion per year.

Ayers and Donohue have simply misread their own results. Their own most general specification that breaks down the impact of the law on a year-by-year basis shows large crime-reducing benefits. Virtually none of their claims that their county-level hybrid model implies significant increases in crime are correct. Overall, the vast majority of their estimates– based on data up to 1997— actually demonstrate that right-to-carry laws produce substantial crime-reducing benefits. We show that their models also do an extremely poor job of predicting the crime rates after 1997.