State Gun Control Laws, Gun Ownership and the Supply of Homicide Organ Donors

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The likelihood of being a potential deceased organ donor is higher for individuals who have been exposed to situations typically characterized by a severe head trauma or stroke that result in brain death. Employing count data models that account for overdispersion and/or excessive counts of zeros, this paper assesses the unintended consequences of enforcing stricter gun control laws and the effects of gun ownership on homicide organ donor supply in the United States using county data for the period 2009–2015. The findings confirm the transplantation paradox hypothesis that stricter gun control laws reduce the expected cases of gun homicides and thereby reduce deceased organ donor supply and exacerbate the organ shortage. The findings are robust to several measures of the strength of gun control laws, restricted samples and spurious outcome variables. However, the direction of the impact of gun ownership levels on homicide organ donor supply proved to be inconclusive.




Bilgel, Firat. “State Gun Control Laws, Gun Ownership and the Supply of Homicide Organ Donors.” International Review of Law and Economics 63 (September 2020): 105925. doi:10.1016/j.irle.2020.105925.
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