Brady Gun Policy and Dissaggregated Homicide Rates

Jeffrey D. Monroe, Penn State University - Abington College

ABSTRACT
When the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was implemented in 1994, it was intended to decreate the rate of gun violence by reducing availability of handguns to criminals and other potentially dangerous persons. This research investigates the success of the Brady law by measuring its effect on homicide rates, with particular attention to specific circumstances under which homicides are committed. The analyses exploit the fact that when Brady was signed into law, it changed the handgun purchasing procedures in the 32 states that did not already have laws requiring a waiting period and background check, and thus the implementation resembles a quasi-experimental design because the 18 states with existing Brady-like standards were unchanged by the new regulation. To measure changes in the rates of varios types of homicide, the proposed research uses data from 1989-1999 to conduct a difference-in differences-in differences analysis to compare changes in the rates of homicide in states required to implement the Brady standards with changes in homicide rates for states that had existing standards. This study advances our understanding of handgun violence in the United Sates and the extent to which Brady legislation may have contributed to decreasing specific types of homicide rates in recent years.

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Updated 05/20/2006