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The Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau recently published administrative data covering the universe of legal firearm transactions in the state. We use these data to validate state-level background checks as a proxy for firearm transactions and show that historical trends in transactions within Massachusetts align with the rest of the United States. Using auxiliary data from a national survey, we show that the Massachusetts dataset can detect patterns in the demographics of both gun ownership and type of firearm purchased. Our analysis suggests that this dataset is a promising source of information for studying interactions in the market for legal firearms.


Armona, Luis, and Adam M. Rosenberg. "Measuring the Market for Legal Firearms." AEA Papers and Proceedings 114 (May 2024): 52-57.