Systematic Measurement Error with State-Level Crime Data: Evidence from the “More Guns, Less Crime” Debate

  title={Systematic Measurement Error with State-Level Crime Data: Evidence from the “More Guns, Less Crime” Debate},
  author={Robert A. Martin and Richard L. Legault},
  journal={Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency},
  pages={187 - 210}
Researchers have recently been cautioned regarding error in the Uniform Crime Reports’ (UCR) “Crime by County” cross-sectional time-series data. These data were the basis for analyses of the effects of laws regarding shall-issue concealed carry weapons (CCW) permits on UCR crime rates in the controversial book More Guns, Less Crime (MGLC). The authors conduct a critical analysis of the state-level data used in that study, compare it to readily available state-level UCR data, and discuss issues… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Does Gun Control Reduce Violent Crime?
Do gun control laws reduce violence? To answer this question, a city-level cross-sectional analysis was performed on data pertaining to every U.S. city with a population of at least 25,000 in 1990 (nExpand
The Science of Gun Policy: A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States.
: The RAND Corporation's Gun Policy in America initiative is a unique attempt to systematically and transparently assess available scientific evidence on the real effects of firearm laws andExpand
The Science of Gun Policy: A Critical Synthesis of Research Evidence on the Effects of Gun Policies in the United States.
The study synthesizes the available scientific data on the effects of various firearm policies on firearm deaths, violent crime, the gun industry, participation in hunting and sport shooting, and other outcomes to build consensus around a shared set of facts. Expand
Gun-Related Crime in Detroit, Michigan: Exploring the Spatial Context of Licensed Firearm Availability and Neighborhood Characteristics
Abstract The linkage between firearms and violent crime has been documented in several criminological research efforts, with different conclusions. This study explores the relationship between gunExpand
Do Guns Matter? A Multi-Level Cross-National Examination of Gun Availability on Assault and Robbery Victimization
Abstract. This study examines the relationship between city levels of gun availability and individual assault and robbery victimization. Existing theoretical approaches to guns and crime areExpand
Policing and firearms: exploring data collection practices and attitudes toward gun control
Adam V Moltisanti Policing and Firearms: Exploring Data Collection Practices and Attitudes Toward Gun Control 2008/09 Dr. Tony Smith Department of Criminal Justice The purpose of this exploratoryExpand
an exploratory analysis of Guns and Violent Crime in a Cross-national Sample of Cities
This study examines the relationship between gun availability and crime in a cross-national sample of cities. Data from the International Crime Victimization Survey are used to examine threeExpand
Gun incidents at the local level: understanding the demographic variables
To maintain public safety and improve system response, a strong need exists for understanding the demographic variables associated with gun offenders and gun cases. This paper was focused onExpand
Is Downsizing Prisons Dangerous?: The Effect of California's Realignment Act on Public Safety Sundt, Salisbury, and Harmon Downsizing Prisons
Research Summary Recent declines in imprisonment raise a critical question: Can prison populations be reduced without endangering the public? This question is examined by testing the effect ofExpand
Firearm Ownership and Violent Crime in the U.S.: An Ecologic Study.
Evidence shows that states with higher levels of firearm ownership have an increased risk for violent crimes perpetrated with a firearm, and public health stakeholders should consider the outcomes associated with private firearm ownership. Expand


Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis
John Lott and David Mustard have used regression analysis to argue forcefully that 'shall-issue' laws (which give citizens an unimpeded right to secure permits for concealed weapons) reduce violentExpand
Measurement Error in County-Level UCR Data
Maltz and Targonski (2002) have provided an important service by disaggregating the county level data to help researchers examine measurement errors in the county level data, but their conclusionExpand
Confirming More Guns, Less Crime
Analyzing county level data for the entire United States from 1977 to 2000, we find annual reductions in murder rates between 1.5 and 2.3 percent for each additional year that a right-to-carry law isExpand
Concealed-gun-carrying laws and violent crime: evidence from state panel data
A recent study concludes that permissive concealed-handgun carrying (or "shall-issue") laws have sharply reduced crime rates, including the rate of homicide. Their method has been critiqued byExpand
The Latest Misfires in Support of the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis
John Lott, Florenz Plassman, and John Whitley ("LPW") have criticized our article, Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis, by arguing that some aggregated statistical models that weExpand
A Note on the Use of County-Level UCR Data
Until improved methods of imputing county-level crime data are developed, tested, and implemented, they should not be used, especially in policy studies. Expand
Measurement and Other Errors in County-Level UCR Data: A Reply to Lott and Whitley
It is found no reason to alter the original conclusion, that in their current condition, county-level UCR crime statistics cannot be used for evaluating the effects of changes in policy. Expand
Do Right‐To‐Carry Laws Deter Violent Crime?
John R. Lott and David B. Mustard conclude that right‐to‐carry laws deter violent crime. Our reanalysis of Lott and Mustard's data provides no basis for drawing confident conclusions about the impactExpand
Crime, Deterrence, and Right‐to‐Carry Concealed Handguns
Using cross‐sectional time‐series data for U.S. counties from 1977 to 1992, we find that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes, without increasing accidental deaths. IfExpand
The Concealed-Handgun Debate
Dan A. Black and Daniel S. Nagin state that my article with David Mustard assumes that the effect of concealed-handgun laws is constant over time, that the effect is the same across states, that theExpand