Background: Historically, the carrying of concealed firearms has been either substantially restricted or prohibited outright. Over the past two decades, laws making it easier for civilians to obtain permits allowing them to carry concealed weapons legally have proliferated throughout the United States. This study investigates the effect of such changes in state laws on state homicide rates.
Methods: Pooled cross-sectional time-series data (1979-1998) for 50 states and Poisson regression methods were used to estimate the effect of changes in state laws on homicide rates.
Results: No statistically significant association exists between changes in concealed weapon laws and state homicide rates. This finding is consistent across all models.
Conclusions: The current findings are consistent with those of other published studies indicating that nondiscretionary concealed weapon laws are not associated with significant increases or decreases in homicide.