Smoking Gun? Linking Gun Ownership to Neighborhood Crime

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Smoking Gun? Linking Gun Ownership to Neighborhood Crime

Category: Concealed Carry, Crime, Firearm Policies|Journal: SSRN|Author: S Billings|Year: 2020

Using linked individual data on concealed handgun permits (CHP), reported crimes and arrests, I examine the dynamics of gun-ownership, victimization and neighborhood crime. I initially show that new CHP holders are 68% more likely to be crime victims with the largest increase due to having a firearm stolen. I then estimate the impact of guns on neighborhood crime through a shift-share instrument based on spikes in gun sales after high-profile events that impact beliefs about future gun rights and existing variation in a neighborhood’s share of likely future gun-owners (Republicans). Results show a 5.3% increase in neighborhood crime for the new guns associated with each additional CHP issued. Gun-related crimes suggest a role for guns stolen and moved to the illegal gun market as well as increased use of guns for violent crimes.

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