Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Jose Miguel Abito


This paper uses publicly available commercial data to determine how the political and legal circumstances of a state influence the production and consumption of firearms. Regression analyses are conducted using data on manufacturers and retailers. The paper finds a statistically significant relationship between the per capita number of establishments and the 2016 presidential vote share in a given state. From this analysis, Vermont is identified as an outlier for retailers and is examined as a case study. The deviation of Vermont from the general relationship establishes two findings: first, that legal protections can insulate retailers from regulation and political risk, bolstering commercial activity; and second, that such legal protections can create a positive consumption culture around guns, supporting demand. In concluding, the paper emphasizes the significance of the findings as they relate to the distinction between regulation and political climate. This study is a starting point for further research on firearm market dynamics and regulation.


firearms, gun sales, regulation, gun laws

Included in

Business Commons



Date Posted: 10 October 2019


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