Gary Mauser

Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University

Gary Mauser, Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, is Professor Emeritus at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. He has taught at a number of schools including the Université des sciences sociales (France), l’Institut d’études commerciales, l’Institut d’études politiques, and Université Laval (Quebec City). He taught marketing research at Simon Fraser University from 1975 to his retirement in 2007. He has published extensively in academic journals, including, the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Consumer Research, Canadian Journal of Criminology, Government and Policy, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Applied Economics. He has been an expert witness on firearms and criminal justice issues in the Senate of Canada, the Canadian Parliament, the New Zealand Parliament, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the Ontario Superior Court. He is accredited as an expert in small arms control with the United Nations International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS).

Recent Research by Gary Mauser

— Jul 5, 2007
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The shootings at Montreal's Dawson College in September 2006 reignited the controversy over the firearms registry. This paper is a timely effort to evaluate the effectiveness of the 1995 firearm legislation. In 1995, the government assumed that, by controlling the availability of firearms, the registry would reduce total criminal violence, not just gun violence, suicide and domestic abuse.

— Oct 31, 2003
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Widely televised firearm murders in many countries during the 20th Century have spurred politicians to introduce restrictive gun laws. The politicians then promise that the new restrictions will reduce criminal violence and create a safer society. It is time to pause and ask if gun laws actually do reduce criminal violence.

Gun laws must be demonstrated to cut violent crime or gun control is no more than a hollow promise. What makes gun control so compelling for many is the belief that violent crime is driven by the availability of guns and, more importantly, that criminal violence in general may be reduced by limiting access to firearms.

In this study, the author examines crime trends in Commonwealth countries that have recently introduced firearm regulations: i.e., Great Britain, Australia, and Canada. The widely ignored key to evaluating firearm regulations is to examine trends in total violent crime, not just firearms crime. Since firearms are only a small fraction of criminal violence, the public would not be safer if the new law could reduce firearm violence but had no effect on total criminal violence.

The United States provides a valuable point of comparison for assessing crime rates because the criminal justice system there differs so drastically from those in Europe and the Commonwealth. Not only are criminal penalties typically more severe in the United States, often much more severe, but also conviction and incarceration rates are usually much higer. Perhaps the most striking difference is that qualified citizens in the United States can carry concealed handguns for self-defence. During the past few decades, more than 25 states in the United States passed laws allowing responsible citizens to carry concealed handguns. In 2003, there are 35 states where citizens can get such a permit.

The upshot is that violent crime rates, and homicide rates in particular, have been falling in the United States. The drop in the American crime rate is even more impressive when compared with the rest of the world.

— Mar 19, 2001
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In 1995, the Canadian government introduced universal firearm registration. It was claimed that firearm registration would cost no more than $85 million over five years. Freedom of Information requests have uncovered that firearm registration has cost at least $600 million over the past three years.