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Who Wants a Gun License?

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 27 Issue: 1 Dated: January-February 1999 Pages: 1-10
S L Schwaner; L A Furr; C L Negrey; R E Seger
Date Published
10 pages
Demographic and lifestyle factors related to the plan to purchase a license to carry a concealed firearm in Kentucky were studied using data collected by telephone interviews in Jefferson County in 1996, shortly after the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation allowing citizens to purchase concealed weapon licenses.
The analysis used a framework based on routine activity and lifestyle theory. The research focused on the Louisville, Ky., area due to its 62-percent increase in the number of homicides between 1990 and 1996. Variables considered included age, gender, household size, education, and income. The intervening variable of heavy drinking was also used, based on participants' responses regarding how often they drank alcoholic beverages and how much. Age, education, household size, and gender had significant direct effects on participants' plans for obtaining concealed gun licenses. Men were more likely than women to want the license. Income did not have a direct influence. Heavy drinking had both direct and intervening effects in that heavy drinkers were particularly likely to want concealed gun licenses and that heavy drinking mediated the effects of the endogenous variables other than household size. Findings did not permit the determination of the extent to which the perception that carrying a weapon would deter potential offenders affected the decision to obtain a license. Further research on several issues is recommended. Tables, figure, notes, and 35 references (Author abstract modified)