FINALLY: The Truth About How Legal Concealed Carry Affects Crime

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In the seemingly never-ending fight over gun rights, the anti-2A side continually tries to argue that more concealed carry firearms in society increase the number of crimes in that society. But is that really the case?

We’re looking at exactly that today with something that gun control advocates continually avoid: context.

Now, to be fair to the anti-2A side, lack of context may not mean that their conclusions are wrong (you need to look into the data in context to know that). They argue that more guns mean more crime because criminals would be able to get their hands on guns more often due to an increase in gun thefts and that more legal gun owners somehow decreases the effectiveness of law enforcement.

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Those who advocate for more legal gun owners carrying regularly (that would be me and, likely, you) argue that criminals use weapons illegally anyway, so, reducing the number of legal guns and reducing or eliminating legal concealed carry of firearms doesn’t reduce criminal activity, and that there’s no link between legal firearm ownership and the effectiveness of law enforcement. What gun control does do is prevent legal gun owners (who do follow the law, after all, unlike criminals) have less options to even the playing field against criminals, and, in a perverse policy position choice, those who argue for gun control are nearly always the same people arguing to weaken law enforcement in an area (so, who is weakening the effectiveness of law enforcement?).

What do the actual statistics, in context, show us, though (hat tip to here for the lead)?

A new paper by John R. Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center and Professor Carlisle E. Moody of the College of William and Mary – Department of Economics and the Crime Prevention Research Center shows the following:

We have a unique data set that allows us to gauge the effect of CCW [Concealed Carry Weapon] permit holders on important issues concerning the pathways by which right-to-carry laws might increase violent crime. We find that permit holders are not responsible for gun thefts beyond that expected by the average burglary rate, that the number of CCW permits has no significant effect on the number of gun thefts. With respect to the second issue, whether CCW permit holders reduce the effectiveness of the police, we find that there no evidence that the number of CCW permits has any effect on police effectiveness, measured as the clearance rate of violent crimes.

With respect to the effect of constitutional carry laws, the evidence shows no impact on the rate that guns are stolen or are the effectiveness of police. However, since most of the constitutional carry laws have been passed since 2015, it may be too early to draw any conclusions. Also, since we have no measure of concealed weapon carrying in those states, we are limited to difference in differences analyses. In that case we have more data than that available in the data set used in this analysis. More research is needed.

To translate into everyday language what that conclusion says: Those arguing for gun rights have more data, and that more complete data doesn’t show that higher legal concealed carry rates increase gun thefts or weaken law enforcement. Data for constitutional carry states, though, may not have enough time on it (since most of those laws have passed since 2015), so, from a statistical analysis position, we may not, yet, be able to put the nail in the coffin of the anti-2A movement.

And, let’s be honest, those arguing for gun control aren’t arguing for it from a rational position but from an irrational, purely emotional position anyway, so, this debate with those pushing for gun control isn’t likely to go away quickly.

It is nice to be reaffirmed, though, that those of us who advocate for gun rights are on the right side of reality.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. First thank you for your article, very interesting. I have a question on all of this, Has anyone done a study as to how many mass shooters were caused by conceal carry permit holders. It seem to me that those who want to do away with guns and now more so, since the the [AR] has been established as meaning Assault Rifle and the universal carry permit is being pushed, just see only one side of the picture, that is the mass shootings via the [AR] style rifle, with large capacity magazines, will do the most damage, not always true. One or more hand guns and multiple magazines has, it has been proven that you can do more damage than one AR style rifle.

  2. Seems I never hear 2A decenters address the mental issues with mass murders using a firearms. Anti-gun advocates cry to abolish guns because they believe are the major cause for killings. Maybe automobiles should be banned as they kill more people a year than guns. I know this is a ridiculous analogy but bottom line – where is the research for identifying individuals who are possible subjects to want to kill people?
    Question: Is it possible that TV movies showing violent acts using a gun as well as various computer games that kill bunches of people may have a conditioning affect on developing minds. Think about how much money is spend on commercials, particularly during Super Bowl, companies pay thousands to influence the public to purchase there product(s). I say TV violence is a major contributor to why we have so much violent crime using a firearm.
    Lastly, many people incorrectly believe the AR identifier for the AR-15 means Assault Rifle please be informed: the AR stands for ARMALITE after the company that developed it in the 1950’s It DOES NOT stand for “Assault Rifle” or Automatic Rifle. The AR-15 is a a semi-automatic rifle (one-shot per trigger pull) – An Assault rifle is fully automatic (just like you see in the computer games hold the trigger and you kill thousands of gremlins).

  3. When the democrats party STOP TRYING TO DISARMED AMERICAN CITIZENS. AND GO AFTER CRIMINALS, EVEN THOSE IN THEIR PARTY! They won’t believe these criminals are politicians who want to destory AMERICA WAY OF LIFE! When will these same politicians take responsibility for WHAT THEY CREATED? Oh, yeah! These democrats politicians DID CREATED THESE CRIMINALS! JUST LIKE THEY CREATED DRUGS ADDICTION! But go ahead and deny it! You see back in the 80’s there was few crime that involved guns! But there was an increase in DRUGS COMING ACROSS THE BORDER! So ask yourself why do these democrats politicians DO NOT WANT TO STOP THE DRUGS TRAFFICKING?? Or the illegal immigrants from bringing it into the country? They ALL VOTED TO KEEP THE BORDER OPEN!

  4. A couple of points – as with legal vs illegal ‘immigration’ the antis conflate legally owned guns with illegally possessed ones. Studies have showed that those Citizens who jump thru the hoops to attain a license to carry ‘permit’ (mother may I card) from their state, even where it is no longer required for lawful carry, concealed or open, are SEVEN times less likely to commit any sort of ‘crime’ than the LE community. No one seems to consider the fact that there are 20+ million licensed Citizens as opposed to around 850 thousand LEOs.
    BTW – to a previous poster, the only people who ‘think AR is an “Assault Rifle” are those who buy in to the antis propaganda.

  5. It seems like nobody want to talk about the truth! Just those thing anti-gun protesters wants. Or the 2A want for self defense or to protect themselves and their love ones! Well you can back up to how did everything get started? Not one anti-gun want to talk about How does a gun killed someone without a FINGER ON THE TRIGGER! GUNS DO NOT KILL PEOPLE, IT PEOPLE WHO KILLED PEOPLE! But why? There many thing you can single out why these people go around killing innocent people! As I recalled DRUGS was coming into the country in the 80’s and 90’s! But NOT ONE DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICANS wanted to close the BORDER! WHY? Then you got those people who want to protect themselves and their children! We all know there fight and fights that has 2on 1 or 3 and more against 1! Why? So they see with a legal carry guns they can equal the fight! People today do not let the two fight it out! So it understand they have a rights to protect themselves. So your last thing is what you see everyday in America! Now you can turn to DRUGS! There nobody on here that can prove DRUGS USE TURN TO VIOLENT! Because it does! Has the government done anything? Nope! Not going to! Because it an easy way for these user to killed themselves!

    • As a retired Police sergeant from the Baltimore Police Department, and a former Sergeant with the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s office, I personally knew over 400 Heroin Addicts. Every one of those sad individuals told me they started with Mary Jane. Now the Corrupt Politicians are pushing to make it “LEGAL”!! My thirty-six (36) years’ experience tells me this is a Sad and Corrupt Idea !!

  6. The United States was founded and protected by ordinary citizens who owned firearms. When England controlled us and charged exorbitant taxes on every commercial item sold, it was armed citizens who opposed the British ships carrying the overpriced, over taxed supplies. We had no army and armed United States citizens fought a severely overpowering British army and eventually defeated the British. Without armed citizens, we would still be paying taxes to a defunct Royal Family who is as unpleasantly offensive as is the Biden family!

  7. It can be further argued that any law or regulation restricting firearms ownership and carrying rights are in direct violation of the Second Amendment. It can also be argued that Democrats’ laws raising taxes to pathetically unbearable heights on gun powder, powder manufacturers, and firearms manufacturers is an infringement on firearms usage, which is the same as infringing on citizens’ rights to own and use firearms. One of my “Pet Peeves” is companies who post signs in their entryway denying firearms be brought into their establishment. This is a direct invitation for armed criminals to enter the store, knowing there will be no one in there to oppose them while they are robbing the store. Democrats’ persistent attacks on the Second Amendment prove they wish to disarm United States citizens and deny us the right to protect ourselves from danger, both foreign and domestic!

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