We exploit within-state variation across time in both the existence and length of statutory delays—both explicit wait periods and delays created by licensing requirements—between the purchase and delivery of a firearm to examine the effect of purchase delays on homicides and suicides. We find that the existence of a purchase delay reduces firearm related suicides by between 2 to 5 percent with no statistically significant increase in non-firearm suicides. Purchase delays are not associated with statistically significant changes in homicide rates.
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