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The Impact of Constitutional Carry Legislation on Urban Violence, Arrests, and Police-Citizen Encounters

Award Information

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Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $323,263)

This project will evaluate the effects of constitutional carry laws and examine whether, and to what degree, changes in weapons carrying laws influence criminal conduct, especially criminal behavior linked to weapons in four cities within two states that recently passed constitutional carry laws.

By employing a multi-method approach, the study will answer the following research questions: 1. What is the impact of laws allowing citizens to carry firearms without a permit on (a) firearms violence (fatal and non-fatal) and (b) overall reported violent crime in the highest risk urban areas within states that have recently passed constitutional carry legislation, and how do constitutional carry laws affect reports of unintentional injuries and illegal gun recoveries? 2. How do the situational context and outcomes of police-citizen encounters change when urban law enforcement officials come into contact with unlicensed and armed citizens? Specifically, what is the impact of constitutional carry laws on (a) officer use of force and (b) arrest in police-citizen encounters, and what effect will any changes in police behavior related to constitutional carry legislation have on citizen complaints against officers? 3. What changes to police training and protocols become necessary following the passage of constitutional carry legislation and what are urban police officersÂ’ perceptions regarding citizen and officer risks/safety following the passing of constitutional carry legislation?

The study design involves a multi-phase analytical approach across multiple study settings. Specifically, this study seeks to examine the impact of constitutional carry legislation on (1) city-level firearm and overall offense data for all U.S. cities; (2) firearm, offense, and accidental shooting counts in four cities within two states; (3) arrest reports, use of force reports, and citizen complaints against officers in those same four urban areas; and (4) officer perceptions of safety, training, and police-citizen encounters (survey). The analytical approach includes synthetic control and difference-in-difference regression (citywide examination), quasi-experimental interrupted time series (shooting counts, use of force, and citizen complaints), as well as linear and logistic regression (changes in arrest reports for weapon offenses). The results will be pooled and compared across study settings to provide a synthesis of overall findings. "Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 13, 2019