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Safe‐Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime

John R. Lott, Jr. and John E. Whitley
The Journal of Law & Economics
Vol. 44, No. S2, Guns, Crime, and SafetyA Conference Sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Law, Economics, and Public Policy at Yale Law School (October 2001), pp. 659-689
DOI: 10.1086/338346
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/338346
Page Count: 31
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Safe‐Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime
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Abstract

Abstract It is frequently assumed that safe‐storage gun laws reduce accidental gun deaths and total suicides, while the possible impact on crime rates is ignored. We find no support that safe‐storage laws reduce either juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides. Instead, these storage requirements appear to impair people’s ability to use guns defensively. Because accidental shooters also tend to be the ones most likely to violate the new law, safe‐storage laws increase violent and property crimes against law‐abiding citizens with no observable offsetting benefit in terms of reduced accidents or suicides.

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