Does Possession of a Handgun Deter Violence? An Analysis of General Social Survey Data

Anthony W. Hoskin, Albright College
Stacy Sekula, Albright College

ABSTRACT
In this paper, we analyze answers given by roughly 3,000 respondents of the 1994 General Social Survey to questions about household handgun possession and firearm victimization. The tested hypothesis is whether having a gun lowers one's risk of being threatened or attacked. Analysis includes relevant controls and models a possible reciprocal relationship between handgun possession and victimization. Findings, policy implications, and avenues for future research are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006