Does the Federal Law Forbidding People under Domestic Violence Restraining Orders from Possessing Firearms Save Lives?

John R. Lott, Jr., Carlisle E. Moody


The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments concerning Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8) which forbids individuals who are under a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) from possessing firearms. This paper analyzes the potential costs of overturning that law. We estimate a variety of models to determine the effect of the law on domestic murders, domestic femicides, domestic gun murders, and domestic gun femicides. We subject the analysis to a variety of robustness checks. The results are remarkably robust. We find that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) does not significantly reduce domestic murder, domestic femicide, domestic gun murder, or domestic gun femicide.

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