New Study: Concealed-carry rates up, violent crime rates down

The number of law-abiding citizens carrying concealed firearms for self-defense outside the home is on the rise while, at the same time, crime rates are on the decline, according to a new report published on Wednesday by the Crime Prevention Research Center.

By the numbers, the report states:

  • Three states (South Dakota, Indiana, and Alabama) now have over 10 percent of their adult populations with permits, and 10 states have at least 8 percent of their adult populations with permits.
  • The number of concealed carry permit holders is likely much higher than 11.1 million.
  • Between 2007 and the preliminary estimates for 2013, murder rates have fallen from 5.6 to 4.4 per 100,000 – a 22 percent drop in the murder rate at the same time that the percentage of the adult population with permits soared by 130 percent. Overall violent crime also fell by 22 percent over that period of time.

John Lott, founder and president of CPRC, discussed the overall findings with Fox News.

“When you allow people to carry concealed handguns, you see changes in the behavior of criminals,” said Lott, who is also a Fox News contributor. “Some criminals stop committing crimes, others move on to crimes in which they don’t come into contact with victims and others actually move to areas where they have less fear of being confronted by armed victims.”

For Lott there’s a causal relationship between the number of concealed carry permit holders and crime rates. In a sense, more guns creates less crime. To that end, Lott claims that one percentage point increase in the number of CCW holders yields a 1.4 percent drop in the murder rate for that area.

“We found that the size of the drop [in crime] is directly related to the percentage of the population with permits,” Lott said.

Murder rates compared to the rise in concealed carriers.  (Photo CPRC)

Murder rates compared to the rise in concealed carriers. (Photo CPRC)

However, there are many who believe that suggesting there is a causal relationship between the two metrics is a bit of a stretch considering all the various inputs that effect crime rates.

“I think we have to be cautious about having a causal relationship between gun permits and a decrease in crime,” said Tod Burke, a professor of criminal justice at Radford University, in Radford, Virginia. “[Lott’s] theory is one to consider, but not to the exclusion of others.”

Burke believes there are other factors that influence crime rates and may explain the reduction, such as “data-driven” policing and the increased incarceration of violent criminals.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Doc November 11, 2016, 12:04 pm

    the American people have given the republican leadership a mandate. Gun freedoms, smaller taxes, less government intrusion into the lives of people. Time to hold them to it. People the results of the election is define toy a win for gun owners and a defeat for not only democrats but a defeat of their platform. If anyone needs a better excuse to get a firearm learn how to use it and carry it all they have to do is look around. The democrats have been defeated but they are not ad. We must finish them and their platform once and for all. Otherwise they will come back to haunt us in the end. One only needs to look at what George Patton said about the Russians. The deems lost. We don’t have to compromise with them. We don’t have to work in the spirit of unity with them. What we do have to do is drive the stake all the way through the heart of them and their platform and finish them off. I am not advocating murdering democrats. Just their ideology and their ability to ever mount a strong resistance again, ever

  • Doc November 11, 2016, 11:55 am

    If you notice these so called protests are going on in cities where gun ownership or concealed carry is at the least prohibitive or just outright banned. One of these days one of these so called protestors is going to pick on the sheep dog and will get their asses shot off. It is just a matter of time. The time is now folks for us to contact our newly appointed representatives and push for a national right to carry law.

    • Zorro45 November 11, 2016, 4:54 pm

      Until the time a sheep dog intervenes, countless innocent people are inconvenienced, harassed or assaulted and businesses are vandalized. In a reasoning I cannot fathom, those assaults on persons and property are preferred to letting folks defend themselves. I have never understood that logic.

      • Aardvark November 13, 2016, 4:22 pm

        These riots are being funded, probably by George Soros (pronounced sorry-ass) and the like. He funds the “Black Lives Matter” rioters as well. There have been witnesses reporting bus loads of rioters arriving in some of these cities. These are paid agitators and the people funding them are inciting riots. Yes, some local college indoctrinated fools are joining in too, but they are just the followers.

  • billyc July 22, 2014, 9:43 pm

    A “permit” to exercise out rights under the 2nd and 14th amendments is no more palatable than a “free speech permit” or a “freedom of religion permit.” Get rid of them. Our firearm permits were written in blood, more than 200 years ago.
    ~ “As Judge Legg correctly ruled, the burden should be on the government to prove that an American is unfit to exercise this Constitutional right,”

  • KBSacto July 21, 2014, 6:59 pm

    If we are going to change the current direction of our government, we’ll need to shapes the minds of those who will run it in the future. We should be talking to college students of what has happened in the past (e.g., Katrina), help them to see firearms as they are and not what the liberal politic wants them to see, and get everyone who can legally vote to do so. Politicians care only about getting re-elected. Informed voters calling their representative or even the Governor’s Office can shift the direction, a little at a time. Democracy works if everyone is informed and involved. Encourage your neighborhood college kids to get informed and vote, and tell them if they don’t, they can say goodbye to the freedoms and liberties they may now take for granted.

    • Aardvark November 13, 2016, 4:28 pm

      Our neighborhood college kids believe they are informed, when in fact they are being indoctrinated by their “progressive” college professors and a corrupt media that is aiding corrupt politicians,

  • Greg July 21, 2014, 8:13 am

    Number one: I don’t think name calling is a convincing argument to change someones mind. That being said, it’s correct that the police only react to crimes that have already been committed. However, they are they ones who see to it that the criminals are locked up after having committed the crime, if the courts do not allow them to roam the streets again. How many times have we seen criminals with a really long rap sheet arrested again and again? How would you feel as an officer having to arrest the same people over and over again because they are released by weak minded liberal judges? Where’s Roy Bean when you need him?
    Number two: I am a firm believer that it is better to have a gun and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
    Number three: It’s great to point out the problem, but who is suggesting an acceptable alternative. Is it better to have no police and be preyed upon by the lawless among us. Or to try to tune up the system we have where I can carry a weapon, but never have to use it? The same people that don’t want me to carry a weapon are the same ones that don’t need to worry about crime in their elite gated communities or security staffed high rises.
    Complex problems for complex times. I believe I would like to go for the easy route. Three strikes and your dead. It sounds cruel on the surface, but tough times call for tough solutions. No more long rap sheets with a longer list of victims. No more excuses for bad behavior. Get it done and move on. Sorry for the miscarriages, it’s for the greater good.

  • Russ July 14, 2014, 3:21 pm

    Two bumper stickers come to mind;
    1. “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”
    2. “Gun Control = 2 to the torso, 1 to the ocular”

  • phil box July 14, 2014, 9:50 am

    if this comes to pass give them your bullets first. starting with whoever is closest. keep passing out your bullets till they are gone or you are down. it won’t matter because they will put you down as soon as they have your guns anyway.
    face the facts, America has come to the point that more blood is need to continue democracy and it can only come from patriots.
    God bless America.

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