Graduation Year

2002

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Criminology

Major Professor

Lynch, Michael

Keywords

gun violence, gun control, pooled data

Abstract

This thesis analyzes the policy effects of several state gun control restrictions in the United States. The study employs the data of gun related crimes and gun control restrictions from Statistical Abstract of Criminal Justice Handbook through five years (from 1995 to 2000). Although many scholars have studied previously gun control policy effects on crimes, they always focus on the total violence level and ignore to compare the policy effects of different gun control laws. The present study examines intensively gun related crimes and compares several gun control policies. Pooled data is employed to access the effects of gun control restrictions, and it is another advancement based on previous studies, which always use cross-sectional or time series designs.

These findings partially reject the previous conclusions that gun control laws have no effects on violence and for gun related homicides and robberies; several gun control restrictions like registration, license, and waiting period show some significant policy effects. Contrary to the past study, the permit to purchase, which has been regarded as the most efficient law, produces no significant policy effects. Sale report to police and certain firearm prohibited also have no significant effects. Among control variables, race and urban population exert the obvious influences on the gun violence, and specifically, the density of population affects the gun related homicides and high school graduates affects the gun related robberies. Implications of these findings and potential for future research are discussed.

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