Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BS (Bachelor of Science)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2019

Honors Major Advisor

Steven Stong

Thesis Mentor

Jeffrey DeSimone


Abstract: This thesis examines gun carrying and related behaviors in national and state Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data, utilizing a new firearm law database from the RAND Corporation. I have three primary goals. The first is to replicate the results found in Anderson & Sabia (2018). Second, I explore the effects of background check and mandatory safety training firearm regulations. Finally, I probe into whether YRBS is a valuable measure of youth gun carrying behavior as evidence of the potential for violent behavior. I was unable to replicate the results of Anderson & Sabia (2018), and I did not find a consistent effect of background check regulation on dependent variables of interest (such as youth gun carrying, or perceived school safety). I do find significant effects of mandatory safety trainings on improving the school environment. However, the causal mechanism is unclear in this case. Overall, the results suggest that reported gun carrying in the YRBS does not necessary reflect gun carrying with nefarious intent.


Economics, Gun, Firearm, Gun Policy, Youth, Gun Carrying

Total Pages



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