NBER

Child Access Prevention Laws and Juvenile Firearm-Related Homicides

D. Mark Anderson, Joseph J. Sabia, Erdal Tekin

Bibliographic Information

NBER Working Paper No. 25209
Issued in November 2018, Revised in December 2018
NBER Program(s):CH, HE, LE, PE

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the March 2019 NBER Digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper was revised on December 5, 2018

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Abstract

Debate over safe-storage gun regulations has captured public attention in the aftermath of several high-profile shootings committed by minors. Whether these laws actually decrease youth gun violence, however, is an unanswered question. Using data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports for the period 1985-2013, this study is the first to estimate the relationship between child access prevention (CAP) laws and firearm-related homicides committed by juveniles. Our results suggest that CAP laws are associated with a 19 percent reduction in juvenile firearm-related homicides. The estimated effect is stronger among whites than blacks and is driven by states enforcing the strictest safe-storage standard. We find no evidence that CAP laws are associated with firearm-related homicides committed by adults or with non-firearm-related homicides committed by juveniles, suggesting that the observed relationship between CAP laws and juvenile firearm-related homicides is causal.

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