When Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office estimated how much it would cost the state if Kansas City and St. Louis adopted stricter gun laws, it relied on one, nearly 30-year-old report that researchers say is flawed.
The estimate — that more restrictive gun laws in the two cities would cost the state more than $700 million because of increased crime — comes as advocates are pushing to get a measure to allow such a change on the 2024 ballot and is now featured in a lawsuit aiming to block the initiative.
But experts who study gun violence say the logic behind Bailey’s estimate doesn’t hold up to scientific rigor. They say looser gun laws increase violent crime.
… Jeffrey Butts, who directs the Research and Evaluation Center for the John Jay School of Criminal Justice, said he didn’t believe the estimate by Bailey’s office was a “serious analysis,” starting with the fact that they built their argument around Lott’s claims.
“If a politician tells someone with basic math skills to go through advocacy materials and extrapolate from those numbers to make an argument, you can do that,” Butts said. “Of course, you end up saying things that are ridiculous.”
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