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Sharing the Monopoly on Violence? Shall-Issue Concealed Handgun License Laws and Responsibilization

NCJ Number
Sociological Perspectives Dated: 2019
Date Published
9 pages
Drawing on the thesis of the new criminologies of everyday life and the more recent conceptualization of sovereign subjects, this study posits that the expansion of shall-issue concealed handgun laws in the United States is a product of low-collective security in states.

Although research has examined whether concealed handgun licensing laws may affect crime rates by enabling gun carrying in public, the determinants of these policies have received less attention. The current article notes that shall-issue laws reflect state efforts to allow responsible firearm carrying, which is more likely to become state policy when a state has lower rates of police officers and lower per capita spending on police and corrections. Results from discrete-time, event history analyses indicate that shall-issue laws are, indeed, related to reduced capacities to provide collective security, independent of competing political and social correlates. The author argues that understanding why states adopt such gun laws appears to be unique to shall-issue laws and has little explanatory power for newer unrestricted concealed handgun laws. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019