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Am J Public Health. 2015 Aug;105(8):e49-54. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302703. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Association Between Connecticut's Permit-to-Purchase Handgun Law and Homicides.

Author information

Kara E. Rudolph is with the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley; Center for Health and Community, University of California, San Francisco; and Department of Mental Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Elizabeth A. Stuart is with the Departments of Mental Health and Biostatistics, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Jon S. Vernick and Daniel W. Webster are with the Center for Gun Policy and Research, Bloomberg School of Public Health.



We sought to estimate the effect of Connecticut's implementation of a handgun permit-to-purchase law in October 1995 on subsequent homicides.


Using the synthetic control method, we compared Connecticut's homicide rates after the law's implementation to rates we would have expected had the law not been implemented. To estimate the counterfactual, we used longitudinal data from a weighted combination of comparison states identified based on the ability of their prelaw homicide trends and covariates to predict prelaw homicide trends in Connecticut.


We estimated that the law was associated with a 40% reduction in Connecticut's firearm homicide rates during the first 10 years that the law was in place. By contrast, there was no evidence for a reduction in nonfirearm homicides.


Consistent with prior research, this study demonstrated that Connecticut's handgun permit-to-purchase law was associated with a subsequent reduction in homicide rates. As would be expected if the law drove the reduction, the policy's effects were only evident for homicides committed with firearms.

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