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How the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban Enforcement Notice Changed Firearm Sales

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Document pages: 51 pages

Abstract: The Massachusetts Attorney General issued an Enforcement Notice in 2016 toannounce a new interpretation of a key phrase in the state s assault weaponsban. The Enforcement Notice increased sales of tagged assault rifles by 616 inthe first 5 days, followed by a 9 decrease over the next three weeks. Sales ofHandguns and Shotguns did not change significantly. Tagged assault rifle salesfell 28-30 in 2017 compared to previous years, suggesting that the EnforcementNotice reduced assault weapon sales but also that many banned weapons continuedto be sold. Tagged assault rifles sold most in 2017 in zip codes with higherhousehold incomes and proportions of white males. Overall, the results suggestthat the firearm market reacts rapidly to policy changes and partially complieswith firearm restrictions.

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