Using the synthetic control method to determine the effects of concealed carry laws on state-level murder rates

Category: Concealed Carry, Firearm Policies, Homicide|Journal: International Review of Law and Economics (full text)|Author: M Gius|Posted On: January 01,2019

The purpose of the present study is to determine the relationship between concealed carry (CCW) laws and state-level murder rates. Specifically, this study will examine the impact of a change in CCW status from “prohibited” to “shall issue” on murder rates. Using a synthetic control method, results of the present study suggest that only in New Mexico did the move from “prohibited” CCW status to “shall issue” CCW status result in an increase in murder rates and gun related murder rates. For the remaining states, the change in CCW status had no effect on murder rates. As a robustness check on the results found using the synthetic control method, a fixed effects model was also estimated. These results indicate that states that changed from “prohibited” to “shall issue” experienced a 12.3% increase in gun-related murder rates and a 4.9% increase in overall murder rates. It is important to note that none of the results in the present study indicate that a move from “prohibited” to “shall issue” CCW status may result in a decline in murder rates.