The Economics of Illegal Gun Markets

Sunday, 16 February 2014
Regency C (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Philip J. Cook , Duke University, Durham, NC
Jens Ludwig , University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Nearly every gun used in a crime was legally manufactured and initially sold by a licensed firearm dealer. Yet almost no individuals incarcerated for gun crimes obtained their gun directly from a licensed dealer. Firearm regulations and enforcement strategies are intended to disrupt the distribution chains that supply guns to criminals, but remarkably little is currently known about this illegal distribution process. A study of illegal gun markets in several major U.S. cities will be reviewed.