Effect of Concealed Carry Laws on Firearm Injury

Overview

This study will use hospital data to comprehensively describe the effects of changes in state concealed carry laws on gun-related deaths and injuries.

Grant Amount: $238,237

Organization: University of Michigan

Investigators: Julia Wolfson, assistant professor, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health; Susan Parker, MPP, MS doctoral student, Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health; and Edward Norton, professor, Department of Management and Policy and Department of Economics, University of Michigan

Expected Completion Date: Mid-2021

Project Summary

Purpose

Determine how changes in state concealed carry laws affect firearm-related deaths and injuries, including effects on children; disparities based on race, ethnicity, gender and urbanicity; and medical system costs.

Approach

  • Use a quasi-experimental study design to capitalize on the natural experiment of states adopting concealed carry laws at different times from 1995 to 2012.
  • Use individual health claims data from state databases to compare firearm-related deaths and injuries in seven states that changed their concealed carry policy during 1995 to 2012 and had hospital data available from both before and after the change.
  • Identify 14 states with the same data availability to serve as controls.
  • Address three research questions:
    • What is the effect of policy changes, both overall and by level of firearm licensing policies, on the number and type of firearm-related injuries?
    • What is the potential cost or savings of concealed carry laws to the medical system?
    • What is the effect of policy changes on firearm-related morbidity and mortality among children, or on disparities based on race/ethnicity, gender, or urbanicity?

Significance

Evidence for the effect of concealed carry laws is contested, resulting in uncertainty as to whether permissive laws increase, decrease, or have no effect on crime and violence. However, research has often focused on just firearm mortality, even though firearm injuries are much more common. By investigating the impacts of these laws on both deaths and injuries, this project will help clarify the effects of different concealed carry laws.

Investigators

  • Julia Wolfson is assistant professor, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Wolfson, an expert in firearms policy, is a mixed-methods health policy researcher at the intersection of health policy and health behavior.
  • Susan Parker, MPP, MS is a doctoral student in health management and policy at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Ms. Parker has experience conducting analyses focusing on health outcomes using health claims data and violent crime prediction.
  • Edward Norton is a professor in the Department of Management and Policy and Department of Economics, University of Michigan. Dr. Norton is an expert in rigorous econometric methods of evaluation.