A new GLO Discussion Paper discusses the US gun-related murder rate and places it in an international perspective, where the US rate is 27 times the average rate for 22 other developed countries; and the gun ownership rate is over five times higher so that the murder rate per gun is 5 times higher.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 421, 2019
Greater US Gun Ownership, Lethality and Murder Rates: Analysis and Policy Proposals – Download PDF
by Schiff, Maurice
GLO Fellow Maurice Schiff
Author Abstract: This paper examines the US gun-related murder (GM) rate and places it in an international perspective. The data show that the US GM rate is 27 times the average rate for 22 other developed countries (ODC). Its gun ownership rate is 5.4 times that of ODC and the murder rate per gun is 5 times that of ODC. Thus, as is done in the paper, an effective reduction of the US GM rate requires an analysis of both the high gun ownership rate and the high murder rate per gun. The paper examines about fifteen gun-policy reforms – including their impact, cost, structure for maximum benefit – and other reforms affecting the GM rate. It also looks at the GM impact of immigration and of programs that provide alternative life pursuits for young men at risk. It further presents a number of policy implications and some new proposals designed to reduce the GM rate. Four appendices provide 1) results from two recent opinion polls on gun-policy reforms, 2) a detailed analysis of the relationship between gun ownership and the GM rate, 3) calculations of gun buyback costs, and 4) a correction of existing results on the Brady Bill’s impact on gun ownership.
GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers). Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.