Updating the changes in DC's crime rates since Heller

Over the last few years, I have been chronicling how DC murder and violent crime rates have changed before and after the Supreme Court's Heller decision (see here and here).  The Supreme Court's decision came down the end of June 2008, though it took about a month for DC to change its gun laws.  So as to compare the same period of time each year before and after the ban, the following numbers look at the first seven months of each year.

What I have pointed out is that even though very few handgun permits have been issued (only a few thousand the last time that I looked), the big change in DC was the court striking down the ban on having loaded long guns in the District.  It had been a felony to chamber a bullet or a shotgun shell.  When the Supreme Court made its decision over 72,000 adults legally owned long guns.  After the decision, almost a quarter of the adult population were suddenly able to legally use those guns for self defense.

The Boston Globe has this story about the huge recent drop in homicides in DC, but the article fails to note that the drop started right after the Supreme Court decision.  How can one write a story on this without mentioning the court's decision?  The article mentions the crack epidemic.  Crack was indeed a problem, but that problem ended in the early 1990s.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Nice work, John. Any chance of you graphing crime in DC over a couple of years prior to and after Heller?

1/07/2014 10:27 AM  
Blogger mjtimber said...

Sorry, Chuck, but that would destroy the illusion. Gun murder rates had been steadily dropping since 1993 in DC. The rate dropped pretty similarly before and after Heller. Chances are the reasons were not related to the gun laws at all, on either side.

10/20/2016 3:51 PM  

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