Does Concealed Carry Deter Crime?:

The Lott/Mustard Controversy

This page contains links to web pages relevant to the controversy over an article in the Journal of Legal Studies by John Lott and David Mustard, in which they offer statistical evidence that laws requiring states to issue concealed carry permits to ordinary citizens reduce some forms of crime.It was created and is maintained by David Friedman. My objective is to provide links to the original documents (the Lott and Mustard paper and, when and if they are webbed, published articles criticizing or defending it), to web pages critical of the article, and to responses and comments. If you are aware of relevant online material to which I do not have a link, please let me know.

The Lott and Mustard argument appears in an expanded form, along with responses to critics, in John Lott's recent book More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws (University of Chicago Press, 2000).

I have not made any serious attempt to keep the page up to date. Interested readers can find Lott's side of the current argument at, and the other side on Tim Lambert's pages (see below).

.pdf version of the Lott and Mustard article for download

Critique by Stephen Teret and response by John Lott

Critique by Daniel Webster and response by Lott

HCI critique and response by Lott

Critique by Tim Lambert, response by Lott and reply by Lambert

A new paper on the subject by Plassman and Tideman, which uses a different statistical approach and finds a stronger effect on homicides than Lott and Mustard do.

More links to commentary on Lott's work on Tim Lambert's web site

A more recent paper by Dezhbakhsh and Rubin critiquing Lott's work.

A much more recent paper by Ayers and Donohue critiquing Lott's work.

A response by Plassman and Whitley.

And a reresponse by Ayers and Donohue.

A recent entry in the Blog of Tim Lambert, a critic of Lott, defending Black and Nagin.

John Lott's Vita

D. Friedman's comments on this controversy

D. Friedman's summary and critique of Black and Nagin's published critique of Lott and Mustard

Page of links relevant to gun control arguments from Tim Lambert's site

A recent piece describing and criticizing a GAO study often cited as showing how many lives could be saved by safer guns. It isn't really part of this controversy, but I thought people reading this page would be interested.

My thanks to Tim Lambert for his generous help in updating this web page--thus demonstrating that people who disagree about which side of a controversy is right can still agree about the desirability of informed debate.

D. Friedman's
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