Although many studies have highlighted the deleterious outcomes associated with access to firearms, others suggest gun ownership and carrying can have protective effects. This study attempts to adjudicate between these countervailing points and address several important gaps in the literature. To do so, data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health were used to assess the long-term associations between gun ownership and gun carrying in late adolescence and violence and violent victimization in early adulthood. Results from propensity score matching analyses suggest gun carrying, but not gun ownership, is associated with a higher risk of experiencing a violent victimization (b = 0.080, 95% CI =.032,.127) and engaging in violence with a weapon (b = 0.885, 95% CI =.392, 1.378). Efforts to curb firearm-related violence should consider focusing on those who carry guns for additional counseling about these risks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Health(social science)