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Violence Prevention and Concealed Weapons Laws

Violence Prevention and Concealed Weapons Laws To the Editor: In his article on firearm violence prevention, Dr Wintemute1 inaccurately describes the research on laws regarding concealed handguns and other gun laws. Wintemute declares that "Laws requiring concealed weapon permits to be issued essentially on demand were associated with a modest decrease in violent crime in 1 study, but substantial flaws in that work have been identified. Other studies have found opposite effects." There are 3 major mistakes in these 2 sentences. Fourteen studies have found that concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime,2-5 only a few of the academic analysts who have looked at the national data have criticized my research, and no national study has found a significant adverse effect of right-to-carry laws. (The references to the other research are available from me upon request.) I have provided the data from my research to academic researchers at 42 different universities. Of the 3 critical articles, one found significant reductions in aggravated assaults and robberies and nonsignificant declines in other violent crimes categories even after selectively eliminating more than 87% of the sample (ie, removing all counties with fewer than 100,000 people and Florida).6 Another critical study cited by Wintemute examined the differential changes in murder of juveniles and adults—not whether murder rates decreased. That study confirmed my earlier evidence that crime rates decreased equally against both groups and Wintemute did not address any of my discussion for why that was the case.5 Black et al (reference 27 of Wintemute's article), the only study that Wintemute can point to that found statistically significant evidence of an increase in murders associated with guns, examined only 5 counties from 3 states (3 from Florida and 1 each from Mississippi and Oregon) and accounted for no other factors.1 Three counties experienced an increase in this type of murder, 1 stayed the same, and 1 experienced a decline. However, these counties were not representative of their states. As another example of Wintemute's selective reporting, the only academic study on the Brady Law indicates that it was associated with increased rates of rape and aggravated assault and no significant changes in murders or robberies.4 The inability to obtain a gun quickly was particularly associated with increases in crimes against women. State waiting periods either increase violent crime or have no effect. References 1. Wintemute GJ The future of firearm violence prevention: building on success. JAMA. 1999;282:475-478.Google Scholar 2. Bartley WACohen MA The effect of concealed weapons laws: an extreme bound analysis. Economic Inquiry. April 1998;36:258-265.Google Scholar 3. Bronars SGLott JR Criminal deterrence, geographic spillovers, and the right to carry handguns. American Economic Review. May 1998;88:475-479.Google Scholar 4. Plassmann FTideman N Geographical and Temporal Variations in the Effects of Right-to-Carry Laws on Crime. Binghamton: State University of New York; 1999. 5. Lott JR More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press; 1998. 6. Black DANagin DS Do right-to-carry laws deter violent crime? J Leg Stud. 1998;27:209-219.Google Scholar http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Violence Prevention and Concealed Weapons Laws

JAMA , Volume 283 (9) – Mar 1, 2000

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.283.9.1137
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

To the Editor: In his article on firearm violence prevention, Dr Wintemute1 inaccurately describes the research on laws regarding concealed handguns and other gun laws. Wintemute declares that "Laws requiring concealed weapon permits to be issued essentially on demand were associated with a modest decrease in violent crime in 1 study, but substantial flaws in that work have been identified. Other studies have found opposite effects." There are 3 major mistakes in these 2 sentences. Fourteen studies have found that concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime,2-5 only a few of the academic analysts who have looked at the national data have criticized my research, and no national study has found a significant adverse effect of right-to-carry laws. (The references to the other research are available from me upon request.) I have provided the data from my research to academic researchers at 42 different universities. Of the 3 critical articles, one found significant reductions in aggravated assaults and robberies and nonsignificant declines in other violent crimes categories even after selectively eliminating more than 87% of the sample (ie, removing all counties with fewer than 100,000 people and Florida).6 Another critical study cited by Wintemute examined the differential changes in murder of juveniles and adults—not whether murder rates decreased. That study confirmed my earlier evidence that crime rates decreased equally against both groups and Wintemute did not address any of my discussion for why that was the case.5 Black et al (reference 27 of Wintemute's article), the only study that Wintemute can point to that found statistically significant evidence of an increase in murders associated with guns, examined only 5 counties from 3 states (3 from Florida and 1 each from Mississippi and Oregon) and accounted for no other factors.1 Three counties experienced an increase in this type of murder, 1 stayed the same, and 1 experienced a decline. However, these counties were not representative of their states. As another example of Wintemute's selective reporting, the only academic study on the Brady Law indicates that it was associated with increased rates of rape and aggravated assault and no significant changes in murders or robberies.4 The inability to obtain a gun quickly was particularly associated with increases in crimes against women. State waiting periods either increase violent crime or have no effect. References 1. Wintemute GJ The future of firearm violence prevention: building on success. JAMA. 1999;282:475-478.Google Scholar 2. Bartley WACohen MA The effect of concealed weapons laws: an extreme bound analysis. Economic Inquiry. April 1998;36:258-265.Google Scholar 3. Bronars SGLott JR Criminal deterrence, geographic spillovers, and the right to carry handguns. American Economic Review. May 1998;88:475-479.Google Scholar 4. Plassmann FTideman N Geographical and Temporal Variations in the Effects of Right-to-Carry Laws on Crime. Binghamton: State University of New York; 1999. 5. Lott JR More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press; 1998. 6. Black DANagin DS Do right-to-carry laws deter violent crime? J Leg Stud. 1998;27:209-219.Google Scholar

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Mar 1, 2000

References