Handgun waiting periods reduce gun deaths

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Handgun waiting periods reduce gun deaths

Category: Firearm Policies, Homicide|Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (full text)|Author: C Poliquin, D Malhotra, M Luca|Year: 2017

Handgun waiting periods are laws that impose a delay between the initiation of a purchase and final acquisition of a firearm. We show that waiting periods, which create a “cooling off” period among buyers, significantly reduce the incidence of gun violence. We estimate the impact of waiting periods on gun deaths, exploiting all changes to state-level policies in the Unites States since 1970. We find that waiting periods reduce gun homicides by roughly 17%. We provide further support for the causal impact of waiting periods on homicides by exploiting a natural experiment resulting from a federal law in 1994 that imposed a temporary waiting period on a subset of states.

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