Table 1.

Effects of handgun waiting periods and background checks on violence, 1970–2014

1970–20141977–2014
Type of violence(1)(2)(3)
All homicide
 Waiting period−0.127 (0.059)**−0.137 (0.059)**−0.132 (0.050)**
 Background check0.049 (0.082)0.025 (0.081)
Gun homicide
 Waiting period−0.188 (0.077)**−0.187 (0.086)**−0.186 (0.071)**
 Background check−0.004 (0.103)0.022 (0.107)
Non-gun homicide
 Waiting period−0.016 (0.051)−0.048 (0.060)−0.035 (0.037)
 Background check0.153 (0.076)**0.036 (0.057)
All suicide
 Waiting period−0.047 (0.021)**−0.070 (0.023)***−0.024 (0.011)**
 Background check0.113 (0.061)*0.023 (0.020)
Gun suicide
 Waiting period−0.097 (0.034)***−0.120 (0.031)***−0.074 (0.017)***
 Background check0.111 (0.073)0.029 (0.028)
Non-gun suicide
 Waiting period−0.017 (0.038)−0.058 (0.059)−0.006 (0.033)
 Background check0.199 (0.072)***0.084 (0.031)**
  • Coefficients represent the effects of waiting periods and background checks on the natural logarithm of deaths per 100,000 adult residents. All models include state and year fixed effects. Models 1–2 include only the policy variables shown. Model 3 follows the specification of Ludwig and Cook (8) and includes alcohol consumption, poverty, income, urbanization, black population, and seven age groups. Model 3 uses fewer years of data due to missing control variables in earlier years. Summary statistics for all variables are included in Table S1. The 1970–2014 period includes 2,295 state-year observations; the model for gun homicides omits three state-years, and the model for non-gun homicides omits two state years because the death count was zero and the model is specified with a logged dependent variable. Similarly, the 1977–2014 period includes 1,938 state-years, but omits two state-years for gun homicides and one state-year for non-gun homicides. SEs, shown in parentheses, are clustered by state. Alternative model specifications presented in Tables S7 and S8 are not logged and include all state-years. *P < 0.10; **P < 0.05; ***P < 0.01.