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Revisiting Licensed Handgun Carrying: Personal Protection or Interpersonal Liability?

NCJ Number
American Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 37 Issue: 4 Dated: Winter 2012 Pages: 580-601
James M. La Valle; Thomas C. Glover
Date Published
22 pages
This study examined gun rights in the United States, and the licensing of private citizens to carry concealed handguns.
No debate is more sensitive or polemical than the question of "gun rights" in the United States, and licensing private citizens to carry concealed handguns is the most controversial "right" of all. The morally charged nature of this controversy is reflected in the disparate results reported by various researchers who analyze the effects of these laws, and also by the especially intense methodological scrutiny that follows published research. A National Science Academy review of existing gun policy research issues methodological recommendations which may help resolve scientifically the question of whether or how "right to carry" licensing effects rates of lethal firearm violence. Similar efforts have been published previously, but this study improves upon those earlier efforts by increasing the sample cross-section, by further refining the model specification, and by distinguishing conceptually "shall issue" RTC laws from "may issue" RTC laws. The results provisionally suggest that the former increases homicide rates whereas the latter decreases them. Abstract published by arrangement with Springer.