Thursday, June 5, 2014
Laws reducing hurdles to legally carrying concealed firearms are argued to have a deterrent effect on crime by increasing its perceived costs. This argument rests on the assumption that these policies will either directly or indirectly increase the perceived distribution of firearm carriers, an assumption that is as yet untested. This short manuscript tests this assumption and, in so doing, argues for a necessary-conditions approach to policy testing when assessing outcomes is difficult. I find no evidence that easing concealed carry increases the number of perceived firearm carriers and thus no evidence that these laws can effectively deter crime.