NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Gun Control after Heller: Litigating against Regulation

Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, Adam Samaha

NBER Working Paper No. 15431
Issued in October 2009
NBER Program(s):   LE

The "core right" established in D.C. vs. Heller (2008) is to keep an operable handgun in the home for self-defense purposes. If the Court extends this right to cover state and local jurisdictions, the result is likely to include the elimination of the most stringent existing regulations - such as Chicago's handgun ban - and could also possibly ban regulations that place substantial restrictions or costs on handgun ownership. We find evidence in support of four conclusions: The effect of Heller may be to increase the prevalence of handgun ownership in jurisdictions that currently have restrictive laws; Given the best evidence on the consequences of increased prevalence of gun ownership, these jurisdictions will experience a greater burden of crime due to more lethal violence and an increased burglary rate; Nonetheless, a regime with greater scope for gun rights is not necessarily inferior - whether restrictive regulations would pass a cost benefit test may depend on whether we accept the Heller viewpoint that there is a legal entitlement to possess a handgun; In any event, the core right defined by Heller leaves room for some regulation that would reduce the negative externalities of gun ownership.

download in pdf format
   (206 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (206 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15431

Published: P.J. Cook, J. Ludwig, and A. Samaha. "Gun Control After Heller: Threats and Sideshows from a Social Welfare Perspective." UCLA Law Review 56.5 (June, 2009): 1041-1093.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Duggan, Hjalmarsson, and Jacob w14371 The Effect of Gun Shows on Gun-Related Deaths: Evidence from California and Texas
Cook and Ludwig w10736 The Social Costs of Gun Ownership
Duggan w7967 More Guns, More Crime
Ayres and Donohue w9336 Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis
Cook, Ludwig, and Samaha Gun Control after Heller: Litigating against Regulation
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us