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, 105 (8), e49-54

Association Between Connecticut's Permit-to-Purchase Handgun Law and Homicides

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Association Between Connecticut's Permit-to-Purchase Handgun Law and Homicides

Kara E Rudolph et al. Am J Public Health.

Abstract

Objectives: We sought to estimate the effect of Connecticut's implementation of a handgun permit-to-purchase law in October 1995 on subsequent homicides.

Methods: Using the synthetic control method, we compared Connecticut's homicide rates after the law's implementation to rates we would have expected had the law not been implemented. To estimate the counterfactual, we used longitudinal data from a weighted combination of comparison states identified based on the ability of their prelaw homicide trends and covariates to predict prelaw homicide trends in Connecticut.

Results: We estimated that the law was associated with a 40% reduction in Connecticut's firearm homicide rates during the first 10 years that the law was in place. By contrast, there was no evidence for a reduction in nonfirearm homicides.

Conclusions: Consistent with prior research, this study demonstrated that Connecticut's handgun permit-to-purchase law was associated with a subsequent reduction in homicide rates. As would be expected if the law drove the reduction, the policy's effects were only evident for homicides committed with firearms.

Figures

FIGURE 1—
FIGURE 1—
Firearm homicide rates: Connecticut, 1996–2005. Note. Connecticut (solid line) compared with synthetic Connecticut (dashed line) and all states in the control pool, equally weighted (dotted dashed line). The vertical line indicates when Connecticut’s permit-to-purchase law was implemented.
FIGURE 2—
FIGURE 2—
Nonfirearm homicide rates: Connecticut, 1996–2005. Note. Connecticut (solid line) compared with synthetic Connecticut (dashed line) and all states in the control pool, equally weighted (dotted dashed line). The vertical line indicates when Connecticut’s permit-to-purchase law was implemented. Rates for 2001 are not included because of the World Trade Center attacks.

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