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Child Access Prevention Laws and Juvenile Firearm-Related Homicides

D. Mark Anderson, Joseph J. Sabia, Erdal Tekin

NBER Working Paper No. 25209
Issued in November 2018, Revised in December 2018
NBER Program(s):Children, Health Economics, Law and Economics, Public Economics

Debate over safe-storage gun regulations has captured public attention in the aftermath of several high-profile shootings committed by minors. Whether these laws actually decrease youth gun violence, however, is an unanswered question. Using data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports for the period 1985-2013, this study is the first to estimate the relationship between child access prevention (CAP) laws and firearm-related homicides committed by juveniles. Our results suggest that CAP laws are associated with a 19 percent reduction in juvenile firearm-related homicides. The estimated effect is stronger among whites than blacks and is driven by states enforcing the strictest safe-storage standard. We find no evidence that CAP laws are associated with firearm-related homicides committed by adults or with non-firearm-related homicides committed by juveniles, suggesting that the observed relationship between CAP laws and juvenile firearm-related homicides is causal.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25209

 
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