FU Research Seminar in Economics

David Schindler, Tilburg University

Impulse Purchases, Gun Ownership and Homicides: Evidence from a Firearm Demand Shock

Do firearm purchase delay laws reduce aggregate homicide levels?  Using  quasi-experimental evidence  from  a  6-month  countrywide  gun  demand  shock  starting  in  late  2012,  we  show  that U.S. states with legislation preventing immediate  handgun  purchases  experienced smaller increases in handgun sales. Our findings are hard to reconcile with entirely rational consumers, but suggest that gun buyers behave time-inconsistently. In a second  step,  we  demonstrate  that  states  with  purchase  delays  also  witnessed  2% lower  homicide  rates  during  the  same  period  compared  to  states  allowing  instant handgun  access.  We report suggestive evidence that lower handgun sales primarily reduced impulsive assaults and domestic violence. 

Speakers

David Schindler, Tilburg University