Gun Prohibition Increases the Demand for Guns

Much has been written about the economics of gun control, including Kjar and Robinson’s 2009 article that noted the lack of basic economic
application to the issue, and that there are ample substitutes available to individuals intent on killing people. Although gun violence “dropped dramatically nationwide”
over the past two decades, the majority of homicides are still committed with a firearm. Moreover, the FBI has reported that the murder rate in the U.S. has
steadily declined for the majority of the past 20 years as gun ownership has surged to an all time high. Unfortunately, mass shootings have not followed
that trend. Data shows the incidence of
mass shootings is relatively unchanged over the past two decades. News reports certainly make it seem more common but in reality, mass shootings are still
extremely rare. Nevertheless, we can easily recall recent shootings such as the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, and more recently, the Naval Yard
shooting. In fact, a simple Google search of “mass shootings in 2012 and 2013” produces an overwhelming number of results, with the first being “Mass Shootings in America: A history, 1999 through 2013.” The article notes that since Columbine, there have been 29 additional mass shootings in the U.S. through the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown. We’ve had
more shootings since then.

Mass shootings continue despite new laws enacted following Sandy Hook. In fact, calls for increased regulation of the gun industry and its proponents is
nothing new — it crops up every time there is a tragedy. As noted recently in the Washington Times, attempts to enact “meaningful” legislation on gun control have been going on for 20 years.

Is there a correlation between the incidence of mass shootings and the attempts by lawmakers to outlaw large capacity magazines and certain types of semi-automatic rifles; discussions of new gun laws; and new laws requiring the fingerprinting of gun buyers and creation of a gun owner “registry”? Are Obama’s
repeated pleas for more regulation of the gun industry contributing to a relatively inelastic demand for guns and complementary gun accessories? Evidence
suggests that

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