Do U.S. State Firearms Laws Affect Firearms Manufacturing Location?

Abstract:

In addition to federal firearms legislation applicable to all firearms manufacturers operating in
the United States, each of the 50 U.S. states has its own state, and sometimes additional
municipal, firearms laws. Conceivably, the relative strictness or laxity of these laws influences
location decisions by firearms manufacturers. We use diverse data sets covering the period 1986
to 2010 to exploit variations in state firearms laws to study the manufacturing location of well
over 2,700 federally licensed firearms manufacturers. We find that state laws do matter for
location but so do other variables. In a way, our findings are reassuring. The firearm industry is
“just another industry” in that it responds to economic incentives and disincentives, of which
relevant state laws are an example: They play but an incremental role at the decision-making
margin.

 

Authors:

JURGEN BRAUER
Hull College of Business, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA, USA and EBA Program,
Department of Economics, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Corresponding author

DANIEL MONTOLIO
Faculty of Economics and Business and Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB), University of
Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

ELISA TRUJILLO
Faculty of Economics and Business and Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB), University of
Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

SADO _WPS_Brauer-Montolio-Trujillo