Connecticut’s 1995 Gun-Permit Law (Still) Did Not Reduce Firearm Homicides by 40 Percent

Cory Booker made that claim yesterday. As CNN notes, there’s a 2015 study backing him up.

Since the day it came out, that study has been driving me insane.

Basically, what the study does is compare Connecticut’s gun-homicide rate with the rate for “synthetic Connecticut” — a statistical abstraction based on other states with similar homicide trends. The problems are that (A) “synthetic Connecticut” is mainly just Rhode Island; (B) Rhode Island had a big homicide spike right after Connecticut’s law went into effect that wasn’t seen elsewhere in the country; and (C) the researchers needlessly cut the data off in 2005.

A 40 percent drop in gun homicides really ought to be visible in a simple comparison of Connecticut’s trend with the national one — but it’s not. It’s purely an artifact of the way the analysis is set up.

Here is a chart from the study itself. Do you really believe that, but for Connecticut’s permitting law, which went into effect at the time shown by the vertical line, the state would have had an abrupt reversal in its crime decline a couple years later — at a time when crime was still falling at an impressive clip nationally? Or does it seem more plausible that Connecticut’s crime trend would have paralleled the national trend (“All control states,” which the study limits to the 39 with no permitting law as of 1995) . . . which is in fact what it did, even with the law?

(Continue at National Review, )