The effects of state and Federal gun control laws on school shootings
Applied Economics Letters, 2018, vol. 25, issue 5, 317-320
School shootings are the highest profile type of murder in the United States. They are also the rarest type of murder. In 2014, there were only 17 firearm murders that were perpetrated in schools and colleges. The purpose of the present study is to determine the relationship between school shootings and state and Federal gun control laws. Using a Poisson, two-way fixed effects model, it was found that assault weapons bans reduced the number of school shooting victims by 54.4%. All other gun control laws (concealed carry laws, private sale background checks and Federal dealer background checks) had no statistically significant effects on school shootings. Although assault weapons bans may reduce the overall number of school shooting victims, the average reduction in murder victims may be less than 10 per year. Hence, it is unclear if gun control is the most appropriate policy to use to reduce the number school shooting victims.
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