Article Title

Child-Access-Prevention Laws, Youths’ Gun Carrying, and School Shootings

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Despite public interest in keeping guns out of schools, little is known about the effects of gun control on youths’ gun carrying or school violence. Using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for 1993–2013, we examine the relationship between child-access-prevention (CAP) laws and gun carrying among high-school students. Our results suggest that CAP laws lead to an 18.5 percent decrease in the rate of gun carrying and a 19 percent decrease in the rate at which students report being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. These results are concentrated among minors, for whom CAP laws are most likely to bind. To supplement our YRBS analysis, we assemble a data set on school-shooting deaths for 1991–2013. We find little evidence that CAP laws deter school-associated shooting deaths, but these estimates are insufficiently precise to reach a policy conclusion.

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