Saturday, October 08, 2022

How Much are gun laws Repressing Exercise of Second Amendment Rights?

The states with the most restrictive gun laws are repressing the exercise of Second Amendment rights.  How much damage are they doing?

In the 2022 Bruen decision, released by the Supreme Court on June 22, the court named six states and the District of Columbia as polities where the governments were violating the rights of their residents to keep and bear arms.

Those states were California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

There are reasonably good measures to compare those states to the rest of the country where laws restricting the sale, ownership and carry of arms are less burdensome.

The National Instant background Check System (NICS) tracks retail gun sales in all the states. Gun sales are much closer than NICS background checks alone, because NICS checks are done for many other things as well.

Gun sales, measured in the NICS system, give us a strong representation of how many guns were purchased in a given year, in each state.

Looking at the restrictive states compared to the non-restrictive states will show if the restrictive state laws are repressing the exercise of the right to keep arms, by repressing the number of people who purchase firearms.

The number of people who have permits to carry is not as easily obtained. The Crime Prevention Research Center (CRPC) has worked to determine how many carry permits exist in each state. The numbers reported in 2021 will be used for this comparison.

This is a quick, first order comparison to see if any obvious disparity exists. If no disparity exists, a more sophisticated analysis may or may not show those laws repress the exercise of Second Amendment rights.

Population figures for the states were taken from the 2020 census. Gun sales and carry permits will be expressed as rates, so as to make a state to state comparison meaningful. The numbers of gun sales are from two years, 2020, and 2021.

2020 is a particularly useful year, as there was both a significant increase in violent crime and political posturing to restrict firearms sales and possession. The motivation to exercise Second Amendment rights should have been high.

2020 recorded all time records for gun sales.

Gun sales for the restrictive states and the District of Columbia, in 2020, as calculated from the NICS data, were 2.05 million. Per capita firearm sales were .024 firearms per person.

In 2021, for the restrictive states and DC, the numbers were: 1.93 million, .023 firearms sold per person.

Restrictive states gun sales per capita: 2020 - .024; 2021 - .023.

Gun sales for the rest of the USA in 2020 were 18.6 million, .075 firearms sold per person. In 2021, there were 16.2 million firearms sold, .065 firearms sold per person.

Less restrictive states, gun sales per capita: 2020 - .075; 2021 - .065.

This is significant evidence of repressing the exercise of Second Amendment rights.  In 2020 and 2021 the sales of firearms in the restrictive states were only one third as many per capita as in non-repressive states.

So much for the right to keep arms.

How about the right to bear arms?

The number of permits in the restrictive states are, using the CRPC numbers, 817,888. The permits per capita in those states is .0097.

The number of permits in the rest of the country, using the CRPC numbers, is 20.7 million.  The permits per capita in those states is .084.

Carry permits per capita: Restrictive states .0097. Nonrestrictive  states: .084

There are 8.64 times as many permits per capita in the non-restrictive states than in the restrictive states.  There is an 88% reduction in carry permits in the restrictive states. This indicates a large repression of the exercise of Second Amendment rights.

The permit numbers do not take into account the half of states in the United States, where no permit is required to go armed in most places. This policy is commonly known as "Constitutional Carry".

As a first order approximation of the effects of the restrictive state laws on exercise of Second Amendment rights, a significant correlation is obvious.

In restrictive states, only about one third as many people exercise the right to keep arms (as measured by purchases) protected by the Second Amendment.

In restrictive states, only about one ninth as many people exercise the right to bear arms (as measured by permits) protected by the Second Amendment.

Other factors may play a part in these numbers. A sophisticated analysis may take into account hunting, crime rates, incomes, and other factors.

The first order look shows an obvious disparity in line with the restrictive laws.

The underlying hypothesis for the laws seems to be: Less guns, less problems.

There is no academic consensus to that effect. The closest seems to be: more or less guns, no measurable effect.

A tenable hypothesis is: more legal restrictions, more repression of Second Amendment rights. It is nearly a truism, which the Supreme Court is starting to address.

Some may say the results are obvious. No measurement was needed.

If you cannot measure a thing, it is not science.

The results above are measurements which can be replicated and agreed to.

They are facts, not matters of opinion.


©2022 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch






Looking at the numbers.

Restrictive states, as determined by the Supreme Court.

Laws are designed to restrict the exercise of Second Amendment rights 

NY and Governor Hochul, for example.

Theory - more guns, more problems

NICS source of gun checks and gun sales in 2020 and 2021, 



Cadeyrn said...

Nice work. We need more fact-based arguments to put before the Courts.

Anonymous said...

If you want some fact Read the constitution. basically the second amendment was given to the legal citizens as a guard against corrupt government. every legal citizen is automatically in the civilian Militia and if it is ever needed to be called up you had better bring your own weapon It applies mainly to adult males but any legal citizen can join up . Government is required to protect and defend our borders. If we are ever invaded the citizens will have to help. world events are making it more likely we might get called up/ According to the most recent census and the reported number of non citizens in this country we have been invaded. The ratio of legal citizens to non legal citizens is about one in seven are not legally here. The 1952 immigration law gives non citizens one specific right, the right to be immediately deported, the first deportation is for life and the second try is punishable by prison time then re-deported. Like it not not this is a Christian nation and the words written in that 1952 immigration law says Muslims are not permitted to immigrate The word used is (forbidden). Why because there is a 1500 year long war between Christians and Muslims. We do not need liberals enforcing their opinions of what the immigration laws require. Liberals intend to do every thing they can to disarm Americans so that we will be easier to defeat.

Anonymous said...

I would like to make what I think is a very important point concerning self defense. Self defense is not waiting to be injured it is to stop the injury. I was once assaulted in front of 50 witnesses I told the guy I did not want to fight, then he said you have no choice and hit me in the face twice. After the fight ended with all of those witnesses I called the police and made a report. Two weeks later I go to the police station to check on what had transpired since I made the report. They told me as soon as they left me they went to where the fight took place and questioned 50 people that were there still talking about the fight and all of them said they heard me tell the guy I did not want to fight and he started the fight. then they said we are calling it mutual combat because if we arrest him for assault we would have to pay his medical bills . If he ever comes at you again we will pick him up on a 5150 because he would have to be crazy to try you again. My daughter told me about 8 weeks later the wires were out of his jaw the cast was off his leg the swelling in his face was going down and he was beginning to see out of one eye and that morning he was able to get out of bed without help. All I said before the fight was Stop being mean to my daughter. My ex-wife always wanted to see me fight, once was enough.