Right-to-Carry Laws

К оглавлению
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 
34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 
68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 
85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 
102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 

A total of 34 states have laws that allow qualified adults to carry

concealed handguns. Right-to-carry laws are not without controversy: some

people believe that they deter crimes against individuals; others argue that

they have no such effect or that they may even increase the level of firearms

violence. This public debate has stimulated the production of a large body

of statistical evidence on whether right-to-carry laws reduce or increase

crimes against individuals.

However, although all of the studies use the same basic conceptual

model and data, the empirical findings are contradictory and in the

committee’s view highly fragile. Some studies find that right-to-carry laws

reduce violent crime, others find that the effects are negligible, and still

others find that such laws increase violent crime. The committee concludes

that it is not possible to reach any scientifically supported conclusion because

of (a) the sensitivity of the empirical results to seemingly minor

changes in model specification, (b) a lack of robustness of the results to the

inclusion of more recent years of data (during which there were many more

law changes than in the earlier period), and (c) the statistical imprecision of

the results. The evidence to date does not adequately indicate either the sign

or the magnitude of a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws

and crime rates. Furthermore, this uncertainty is not likely to be resolved

with the existing data and methods. If further headway is to be made, in the

committee’s judgment, new analytical approaches and data are needed.

(One committee member has dissented from this view with respect to the

effects of these laws on homicide rates; see Appendix A.)