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Movements, Malefactions, and Munitions: Determinants and Effects of Concealed Carry Laws in the United States
Steidley, Trent Taylor

2016, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Sociology.
Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) laws regulate the issuing of licenses for legal concealed firearm carrying in a state. In 1980, only four states had “shall-issue” CCW laws which broadly allowed people to receive CCW licenses, but by 2010 thirty-eight states had “shall-issue” laws. While scholars have debated the efficacy of CCW laws to reduce violent crime rates, little attention has been given to why these laws become prolific. At the same time, few have explored how CCW laws matter for outcomes other than violent crime. Using original legal research on CCW laws in all fifty states this dissertation explores both the political and criminological determinates of CCW laws and how these laws have affected handgun demand over time.

In the first part of this dissertation, I draw on social movement theories to explore the political and social movement determinants of CCW laws and advance knowledge about how social movements can create policy change. Social movement organizations (SMOs) often target policies to influence changes in society. But policy changes may actually be the result of public opinion, political opportunities or other factors; creating a spurious relationship between SMO activity and such outcomes. Interestingly, the power of the National Rifle Association (NRA) is often assumed but seldom tested. Using the case of CCW laws this dissertation assesses NRA influence on state-level firearm policy outcomes.

The second part of this dissertation draws on criminological theories to explore how CCW laws are a potential state response to crime rather than an effort to prevent or control crime. Previous research on firearm policies suggests that states regularly implement policies that restrict gun rights in order to provide better collective security for citizens. However, CCW laws represent a departure from collective security as they endorse qualified citizens to carry firearms and use lethal force on their volition to prevent crime. Drawing on Garland’s (2001) arguments for “the new criminologies of everyday life,” I argue that CCW laws are a state effort to regulate firearm carrying as a form of self-help for crime protection that is still regulated by the states.

In the third part of this dissertation, I explore how CCW laws have impacted handgun demand at the state-level from 1999 to 2013. Results indicate downward trajectories of handgun demand are reversed once a CCW law is adopted. While CCW laws increase handgun demand over time in every state except Minnesota, the immediate effect on handgun demand is more mixed. Some states experience a spike in handgun demand immediately after a law is adopted, but others do not. The final chapter the dissertation offers concluding remarks regarding research on gun laws in the United States and how these studies contribute to that literature.
Dana L. Haynie, PhD (Committee Co-Chair)
Andrew W. Martin, PhD (Committee Co-Chair)
Ryan D. King, PhD (Committee Member)
203 p.

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Steidley, T. (2016). Movements, Malefactions, and Munitions: Determinants and Effects of Concealed Carry Laws in the United States. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Steidley, Trent. "Movements, Malefactions, and Munitions: Determinants and Effects of Concealed Carry Laws in the United States." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2016. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 22 Sep 2018.

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Steidley, Trent "Movements, Malefactions, and Munitions: Determinants and Effects of Concealed Carry Laws in the United States." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2016. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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