Must-Read Report Shows How Concealed Carry Makes America Safer

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(Photo: Crime Prevention Research Center)

Even though our right to keep and bear arms is protected by our Constitution, statistics matter in the debate over gun ownership.  It’s just the world we live in.  Sure, one can make an argument that one’s fundamental right to protect oneself shouldn’t be tied to crime statistics — my individual right to protect myself, my family and my property exists regardless of how high or low crime rates are —  but as long as there are those hellbent on taking away our Second Amendment rights statistics will always come into play when the debate heats up.

The good news, of course, is that the statistics and the facts are on our side.  We have empirical data to demonstrate that responsible gun ownership has a net positive effect on society.  Plainly stated, more law-abiding citizens responsibly exercising their Second Amendment rights generally makes the country a safer place.

New evidence of this phenomenon comes courtesy of a report put together by economist John Lott, Jr. the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, a research and education organization dedicated to conducting academic quality research on the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety.

The 41-page report, titled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2016,” comes to the following conclusions about gun ownership, specifically, the right to carry, and its effect on society:

  • During President Obama’s administration, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared to over 14.5 million – a 215% increase since 2007.
  • The increase in the number of concealed handgun permits last year set another record, increasing by 1.73 million. That is slightly greater than previous record of 1.69 million set the last year.
  • 6.06% of the total adult population has a permit.
  • In ten states, more than 10% of adults have concealed handgun permits. Indiana has the highest rate — 15%. South Dakota is close behind with 14.7%.
  • Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas each have over a million residents who are active permit holders.
  • In another 11 states, a permit is no longer required to carry in all or virtually all of the state.Thus the growth in permits does not provide a full picture of the overall increase in concealed carry.
  • Between 2012 and 2016, in states that provide data by gender, the number of women with permits has increased twice as quickly as the number of men with permits.
  • Some evidence suggests that permit-holding is increasing about 75% more quickly among minorities than among whites.
  • Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates fell from 5.6 to 4.7 (preliminary estimate) per 100,000 This represents a 16% drop. Overall violent crime fell by 18 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults with permits has soared by 190%.
  • Regression estimates show a significant association between increased permit ownership and a drop in murder and violent crime rates. Each one percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate. This holds true even after accounting for the number of police per capita, demographics, and the percentage of the population that is incarcerated,
  • Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth of the rate at which police officers are convicted.

While it’s wonderful to hear that more than 14 million Americans have obtained a permit to carry concealed, the real takeaway from this report, the point that bears repeating, is that “each percentage point increase in rates of permit-holding is associated with a roughly 2.5 percent drop in the murder rate.”

(Photo: Crime Prevention Research Center)

(Photo: Crime Prevention Research Center)

More concealed carriers have the potential to reduce crime and make the country a safer place.  As we so often say, an armed society is a polite society.  Now, that’s a counter-intuitive proposition for gun-grabbers because they ultimately believe that firearms are inherently evil and that the mere presence of them makes society a more dangerous place.

“I think that we’ve got to reign in what has become an almost article of faith that anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime. And I don’t believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. . . . carrying guns in public places. . . .” said Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the National Council for Behavioral Health on May 6, 2016.

But when one looks at the data, as presented by the CPRC, it becomes abundantly clear that guns are good for the vast majority of people.

Now skeptics will argue that correlation doesn’t equal causation, which is true in the sense that there are many factors that influence crime rates and to conclude that concealed carry is solely responsible for a reduction in crime rates is an untenable position, however, what we can say for sure is that more concealed carriers do not increase crime rates.  In other words, we — the law-abiding gun owners and our millions and millions of guns — are not the problem.  If anything, we are part of the solution to the thugs, drug dealers and evildoers responsible for the violence in this country.

SEE ALSO: 5 tips for winning hearts, minds of anti-gunners

To bolster the point that we are not the problem, the report noted that concealed carriers are extremely lawful people, and that in Florida and Texas, “permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth of the rate at which police officers are convicted.”

So, there you have it.  More evidence that gun ownership, via concealed carry, is good for this country.  Now, if we can only spread the word.  That’s the real issue the gun community faces, convincing the non-gun owning public that we are not the problem, rather we are part of the solution.  We have the facts, we just need to get them out there to the mainstream.  So, please, share this report with your non-gun owning friends and family.  Get the word out.

Our interview with John Lott Jr. at SHOT Show 2015:

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Gingerbaker July 29, 2016, 11:18 am

    The author of this study has a lousy reputation when it comes to honesty and academic rigor. I am VERY sceptical of what he has to say, and so is the rest of the world:

    http://www.armedwithreason.com/shooting-down-the-gun-lobbys-favorite-academic-a-lott-of-lies/

    The sad fact is that we have little good data about guns, safety, and crime – thanks to the NRA and the Republican Congress critters who basically outlawed proper data collection on the topic. Sound like the sort of thing you would do if the data actually supported your case?!?

    Republicans – playing dirty. Once again, on the side of dishonesty.

    • Tom Horn July 29, 2016, 9:09 pm

      Ginger,

      Would you believe our Federal Bureau of Investigation? Their statistics show, that as gun ownership has increased in recent years, violent crime has gone down. If you don’t believe in the “causation,” fine, I will continue to own, carry, and believe in my 2nd Amendment Rights.

      “Overview:

      In 2013, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 14,196. This was a 4.4 percent decrease from the 2012 estimate, a 7.8 percent decrease from the 2009 figure, and a 12.1 percent drop from the number in 2004.
      There were 4.5 murders per 100,000 people. The murder rate fell 5.1 percent in 2013 compared with the 2012 rate. The murder rate was down from the rates in 2009 (10.5 percent) and 2004 (18.3 percent). (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
      Of the estimated number of murders in the United States, 43.8 percent were reported in the South, 21.4 percent were reported in the Midwest, 21.0 percent were reported in the West, and 13.8 percent were reported in the Northeast. (See Table 3.)”

      Remember 2013, when Pres. Obama was Firearm Salesman of the Year?

    • Mark N. July 31, 2016, 12:39 am

      “The sad fact is that we have little good data about guns, safety, and crime – thanks to the NRA and the Republican Congress critters who basically outlawed proper data collection on the topic. ”

      Not true, precisely. What the Congress did was to reuse to fund r the CDC to do research on what is now called “gun violence” as a supposed “public health issue.” The reason had much to do with the fact that the CDC published a paper that very clearly called for gun control, a report that was far more political than factual. So let’s talk a bit about the facts. Firearms are not even in the top ten when it comes to death in the US–you can check the CDC site, which publishes the following list:
      Heart disease: 614,348
      • Cancer: 591,699
      • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 147,101
      • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 136,053
      • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 133,103
      • Alzheimer’s disease: 93,541
      • Diabetes: 76,488
      • Influenza and pneumonia: 55,227
      • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,146
      • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 42,773
      for the fact that it isn’t even in the top ten. Accidental gun deaths are less than 1000 per year. Suicides cannot truly be attributed to availability of guns, since lots of people end their lives by other means. What should be studied is not guns, but the reasons for suicide and what can be done to improve suicide prevention.

    • Dr Motown July 31, 2016, 10:32 am

      We cannot conclude that increased concealed carry is the sole CAUSE of the falling murder rate. However, we CAN conclude that there is NO CORRELATION between increased concealed carry and increased murder rates, proving that law-abiding carriers are not a threat to society.

    • mike ryan August 1, 2016, 10:00 am

      Ginger, When the left can’t argue the math, they resort to character attacks. The FACT is that these are FBI stats, by your beloved government. If you want to be a victim, best of luck. You are free to not carry and take your chances. I suggest reading a copy of the American Hunter magazine, every month they have stories of good people defending themselves against criminals. No one reports stats of crimes avoided because of gun defense. I guarantee you one thing – criminals don’t care about gun laws. Chances are if you ever need help , a CHL owner will come to your aid, not a criminal.

  • Earl E Burns Jr July 29, 2016, 10:46 am

    History tells of what will happen (civil war) when big brother starts telling the people and states what they can or can’t do. When they cram laws and their views down our throats, all the while WE THE People are trying to tell them we do not want their warped agendas and we vote other wise. This time I’m afraid will be MUCH worse than the first time. I hope it doesn’t come to that,with gun control (rather taking away our 2nd amendment rights) but everything points in that direction, God help us!

  • Pat Bryan July 29, 2016, 10:26 am

    Correlation is not causation. You are preaching to the choir and can get away with it in this venue. But in an actual political debate, which is what we are having in this country, your single argument, with it’s breathless headline, gets destroyed by this fact: there are more relevant sociological factors involved in crime reduction. You need to beef up your stats with more Facts.

    • Earl E Burns Jr July 29, 2016, 10:50 am

      The fact remains that CRIMINALS will have weapons some way or another and it is THEM not the law abiding citizens doing the crime

    • S.H. Blannelberry July 29, 2016, 10:53 am

      Did you even read the article? I explicitly addressed your point:

      “Now skeptics will argue that correlation doesn’t equal causation, which is true in the sense that there are many factors that influence crime rates and to conclude that concealed carry is solely responsible for a reduction in crime rates is an untenable position, however, what we can say for sure is that more concealed carriers do not increase crime rates. In other words, we — the law-abiding gun owners and our millions and millions of guns — are not the problem. If anything, we are part of the solution to the thugs, drug dealers and evildoers responsible for the violence in this country.”

      Part of having an honest debate is listening to what the other side is saying. You’re quick to talk, but are you even paying attention to what’s being said?

      • Gingerbaker July 29, 2016, 11:28 am

        ” If anything, we are part of the solution to the thugs, drug dealers and evildoers responsible for the violence in this country.””

        That is my opinion, also, about where the problem is. But the data sucks, because the data acquisition system was outlawed by Republicans.(Thanks for nothing, Republicans)

        Do you have a link to references that can actually give evidence to this idea that gun violence is actually due to drug criminals? I think it is really important to get people on the other side of the aisle to understand that it is a (relatively) very few bad actors who are generating all the gun violence stats. But stats and evidence is what the Left respects when it comes to policy.

        Could you e-mail me if you do?- I don’t hang out here. Thanks. 🙂

        • S.H. Blannelberry July 29, 2016, 11:44 am

          I’ve dug into the drug/gang question before but I can’t find the article on GA. In a brief search on gang-related violence, I came across this:

          “The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1). These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.”

          Personally, I think that’s a rather low estimate. As for drugs, there’s a bunch of info out there:

          In 2004, 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs. These percentages represent a slight increase for federal prisoners (16% in 1997) and a slight decrease for state prisoners (19% in 1997).

          Jail inmates
          More than two-thirds of local jail inmates (68%) were found to be dependent on drugs or alcohol or abusing them, according to a 2002 survey of men and women held in local jails.

          See more here: http://www.bjs.gov/content/dcf/duc.cfm

        • Mark N. July 31, 2016, 12:48 am

          “The sad fact is that we have little good data about guns, safety, and crime – thanks to the NRA and the Republican Congress critters who basically outlawed proper data collection on the topic. ”

          I somehow went to post before I was finished. Only the CDC is not funded for such research. Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg is funding David Hemenway at Harvard and other researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (which got its name when he donated a billion dollars to the school). Hemenway’s research has been heavily criticiezed as well, principally because he comes to a conclusion first then cherry picks his data to support his pre-conceived anti-gun notion. But even he admits that there are at least 50,000 to 80,000 defensive gun uses per year (which by the way is the lowest estimate among scholars), which a large underreporting error because most do not involve shots fired and are not reported to the police.

  • Chap Vail July 29, 2016, 8:59 am

    How many people are killed each weekend with Automobiles. The number was once reported until the CAR LOBBY put an end to it. Carrying a gun by a responsible citizen is safer than driving to buy the gun. What can we do for car safety. Get a license?

    • Mark N. July 31, 2016, 12:42 am

      With about 30,000 deaths in car accidents last year, the number is about 82 per day.

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