Whenever a shooting tragedy occurs in the United States, there is an increase in gun sales and applications for concealed carry permits. With the Supreme Court ruling specifically that the 2nd Amendment allows individuals to keep and bear arms, gun control legislation has been coming under fire in the judicial system too, and increasing the amount of CCW permits that are wanted.
Every state in the US allows for some version of a concealed carry permit. Two states don’t require a permit in order to have a concealed firearm.
There are some statistics that show that having CCW permits issued could be a deterrent to crime. In states where there are restrictive concealed carry permit laws, for example, gun homicides are 10% higher on average. Even so, this is a controversial issue that has people either supporting expanding concealed carry laws or restricting them.
Three Fast Facts About CCW Permits
1. In Florida, the crime rate of gun owners who have been granted a concealed carry permit has been around 0.02% since the permits were allowed in 1988.
2. In Texas, murder rates fell 50% faster than the national average after concealed carry laws were passed and other violent crime fell up to 500% faster by the second year.
3. People who have been granted a CCW permit are 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for a violent offense and more than 13 times less likely to be arrested for non-violent offenses.
Takeaway: There is some truth to the fact that if someone doesn’t know if a person is packing heat, they are less likely to commit a crime against someone. Crime is all about an easy mark and concealed carry permits eliminate the easy mark. The concerns that some have regarding all of these weapons being out in public is seemingly justified as well, although the crime rates remain low. It can be uncomfortable knowing that there could be a hidden gun being carried by the person who is grabbing a bag of rice at the grocery store next to you. What if it goes off accidentally? What if that person doesn’t really have a CCW permit? There are still some societal answers that need to get cleared up before the issue will be settled by a majority of people.
How Prevalent Are Concealed Carry Permits?
1. In the United States, there were an estimated 11 million concealed carry permit holders in 2001 and this doesn’t include data from the two states, Wyoming and Arizona, that don’t require a permit.
2. In Virginia, crime that occurred at bars and restaurants around the state with firearms declined by over 5% in the first year permits were issued.
3. In Texas, the most common reason why concealed carry permit holders are arrested is because of check fraud or tax delinquency.
4. In 80% of gun defenses, the defender used a concealed handgun and only 25% of these occurrences happened outside of the defender’s home.
5. 77% of all violent crime happens in public places, which shows a need for a CCW permit to be allowed for protection in these public places.
6. 91% of police officers in a recent survey stated that they believed people should be allowed to concealed carry without question or restrictions.
7. 66% of police chiefs believed that when there are citizens carrying firearms, crime rates will be reduced.
Takeaway: There are some horror stories out there about how a concealed carry offense can get out of hand. One just has to look at the consequences of the George Zimmerman trial to point out what can go wrong when someone has a weapon in a difficult, yet potentially questionable situation. The fact remains, however, that there seem to be fewer horror stories regarding CCW permits than those who carry guns illegally in order to do harm. If there’s a gunman at a school or at the mall, what would make you feel safer? Being able to defend yourself or wait until someone else can defend you? For many, the answer is the former instead of the latter.
What About Crime Problems In Chicago?
1. In 2013, Illinois became the final state to allow concealed carry permits to be issued, including in the city of Chicago where strict gun laws are in place.
2. In just one year, Chicago police report burglaries, robberies, and motor vehicle thefts are down by over 20%.
3. In just 6 months of the law being enacted, there had been over 83k applications for a concealed permit and nearly 70,000 licenses had been issued.
4. Crime tracking has been consistent in Illinois within the first 12 months as it has been in every other state to initiate CCW permits in the past.
5. Even a small amount of permits can deter crime, as evidenced by the less than 200 permits that have been issued in Hawaii.
6. To obtain a permit in Illinois, an applicant must pay $600 and attend 16 hours of gun handling classes.
7. It is estimated that Illinois will have about 300,000 total permits issued before the concealed carry permits statistics begin to level off.
Takeaway: Some people say that changes in police tactics are what is the foundation of reducing crime in a region with CCW permits. Others point to the fact that the trend of crime in the United States has been trending downward already and the amount of permits is simply corresponding to the trend that is already in place. Despite this, however, there are certain components of modern life that make owning a concealed firearm feel like a necessity, especially when looking at events like the Aurora movie theater shooting or the events at Sandy Hook that tore out the heart of the country. Concealed carry permits seem to be working, but only time will tell how effective this will actually be in a long-term prevention of crime.
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