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The U.S. Consumer Firearms Industry: Equilibrium and Policy Implications

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Grant Recipient: Harvard University

Principal Investigator(s): Luis Armona

Term: 2024 – 2025

Funding: $80,500

Summary: The US consumer firearms industry has a large and diverse set of stakeholders: 1 in 3 households own a gun, and each year, manufacturers sell 25 million firearms while the broader public suffers 120,000 incidents of firearm violence. This paper assembles high-resolution data on the prices and quantities of licit firearm transactions in Massachusetts and uses these data to quantitatively model the consumer firearms industry. To understand the industry’s public-health impacts, this paper estimates the causal effect of legal firearm sales on downstream firearm violence using data on the universe of other-directed shootings in the US

Harnessing these estimates yields lessons about the impacts of current firearm policy and facilitates the exploration of alternative policies that may more efficiently regulate firearms in the US.