An Economic Analysis of Guns, Crime and Gun Control GCP-95-4

John F. McDonald
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research in the College of Business Administration

A model is posited in which guns are demanded for recreation, self-protection or criminal purposes, and in which crime is supplied. Crime rates influence guns demanded for self-protection, and guns demanded by criminals depend upon guns held by law-abiding citizens. Comparative-static analysis is used to investigate the effects of crime and gun control policies. The results show that increases in crime control policies may reduce crime by less than one would expect because of the indirect negative effect on guns owned by the law-abiding public. Gun control policies reduce the demand for guns, but the effect on premeditated crime is ambiguous because of the negative effect on guns owned for self-protection and recreation.

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