Johns Hopkins University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2012||The Impact of Right to Carry Laws and the NRC Report: The Latest Lessons for the Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy|
with Abhay Aneja, John J. Donohue III: w18294
For over a decade, there has been a spirited academic debate over the impact on crime of laws that grant citizens the presumptive right to carry concealed handguns in public – so-called right-to-carry (RTC) laws. In 2004, the National Research Council (NRC) offered a critical evaluation of the “More Guns, Less Crime” hypothesis using county-level crime data for the period 1977-2000. 15 of the 16 academic members of the NRC panel essentially concluded that the existing research was inadequate to conclude that RTC laws increased or decreased crime. One member of the panel thought the NRC's panel data regressions showed that RTC laws decreased murder, but the other 15 responded by saying that “the scientific evidence does not support” that position.
We evaluate the NRC evidence, and imp...