What Do Concealed Carry Statistics Tell Us?
It’s no secret that gun laws, such as the right to carry concealed weapons, have fallen under a bit of scrutiny in the past few years. Concealed carry is currently legal in some way, shape or form in all fifty states, yet there are many who are still skeptical on whether it does more good or harm for society. In today’s day and age, it’s hard to break through all of the noise to find out what the facts of the matter really are.
If you’re interested in exercising your right to concealed carry, it’s important that you understand the numbers behind the issue. Read on to learn more about all the concealed carry statistics you need to be aware of before you make your decision!
Table of Contents
Why Concealed Carry?
From the outside looking in, the decision to concealed carry could seem like a rash one. The FBI has reported that the violent crime rate has dropped dramatically in the past few decades — it has dropped as low as 48% between 1993 and 2019. Robbery rates have dropped 68%, murder and non-negligent manslaughter have dropped 47% and aggravated assault has dropped 43%. So, if there is less crime, why would people need to carry a firearm?
However, just because the rates are down does not mean they are nonexistent. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that the world can be incredibly unpredictable. Concealed carry laws are made for people who want to be ready for the potential danger out there in the world. They want to have some way to fight back if things were to go awry.
According to a study conducted by the National Firearms Survey, roughly 3 million Americans carry a handgun with them every day. Of all of the handgun carriers, four out of five of them said that personal protection was their main reason for carrying.
The fact of the matter is that each and every person lives in very different circumstances. Many people have luckily never been put in a threatening position in their lives. However, many people have, and many others know someone who has.
Whether we want to believe it or not, there are threats out there, and many choose to be armed so that they have a chance of defending themselves in a crisis. Having this option is one of the main pros of concealed carry.
Now that we know why people choose to concealed carry, let’s look at how their choice impacts the world around them.
Does Concealed Carry Reduce Crime?
The issue of whether or not the right to concealed carry in a state correlates with the state’s crime rate has been a hotly debated topic for years. Studies have been published on both sides of the argument, which can make it confusing for those who want to find the real answers.
The academic argument making the case that concealed carry laws reduce crimes stem all the way back to a 1977 study out of the University of Chicago that concluded that “right to carry” laws “were the most cost-effective method of reducing crime thus far.” The study also states that “If those states which did not have right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders; 4,177 rapes; and over 60,000 aggravate assaults would have been avoided yearly.”
Other studies think that the evidence supporting this claim is limited. These studies, often published in response to the University of Chicago study, claim that the issue is too nuanced and that the data is inconclusive to support the statement that the University of Chicago study put out. Whether it’s faulty sample sizes, a lack of context or uncertain effects, the studies state a few different reasons for the evidence to skew the way it does.
The reality is, with all the different angles and perspectives that one could look at, it’s easy to make the numbers feel more malleable. With issues like this, it’s important that you take in all the different data you can, rationalize it to yourself and make an informed decision based upon all the information you can gather.
Concealed Carry Permit Holders Crime Statistics
Many people who are against concealed carry laws state that people who are concealed carry permit holders are frequently lashing out and causing unnecessary violence in their communities. There was a notable study done by the Violence Policy Center that claims that “too many concealed-carry permit holders are a direct threat to public safety.”
However, once you actually break down the numbers presented, you would find that the data they provide claims the opposite. For example, 40% of the deaths listed in the report are suicides. While this is still tragic, it does not align with the claim that a concealed carry holder is a direct threat to public safety.
Secondly, the data also shows that the 18 million American concealed carry permit holders accounted for 0.7% of all firearm-related homicides in a 15 year period. The vast majority of people who are committing firearm-related homicides are not those who have a permit to concealed carry.
Overall, despite the fact that the number of Americans who are concealed carrying weapons continues to go up, the violent crime rates continue to go down. Because of this, it’s irresponsible and inaccurate to say that there is a direct correlation between concealed carry laws and violent crime.
Are Concealed Carry Permit Holders More Law-Abiding than Others?
To give you the short answer, yes — it’s been found that concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding group of citizens in the United States. According to a study done by the Crime Prevention Research Center, concealed carry permit holders are the most law-abiding group of citizens in the country.
In fact, concealed carry permit holders are more law abiding per capita than police officers. These statistics are said to have been helped by the fact that more women and minorities are starting to get their concealed carry permits, making concealed carry permit holders a wider and more diverse group of people to draw data from.
Notable Concealed Carry Shooting Incidents
Anti-gun proponents are insistent that concealed carriers are usually unable to stop any shootings or acts of villainous behavior. But, there are documented instances of “good guys with guns” who have stopped mass shootings. From 2007-2015, there were at least eight cases where armed citizens (who were NOT off-duty police officers) prevented a mass shooting. This data is probably undersold, because there have certainly been some instances in which a would-be criminal stopped in their tracks when they saw an armed civilian.
Image courtesy of the Washington Post
Here are some specific examples:
- Redding, California: After a man noticed a woman at a gas station was being held against her will, he held the kidnapper at gunpoint until police arrived.
- Miami-Dade County, Florida: A woman with her concealed carry permit stopped a robbery and assault happening outside of a Popeyes restaurant.
- Coshocton County, Ohio: After a knife-wielding man was threatening customers at a McDonald’s restaurant, a concealed carry permit holder stopped him.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to understand when it comes to the issue of concealed carry. Although it’s a sometimes controversial subject, when you look at the numbers, you can certainly argue that concealed carriers are less of a threat to society than other forces in the world.
The vast majority of concealed carry users are people that respect the responsibility of owning a firearm, know how to use it safely, and are only using their weapon in extreme circumstances. There are always going to be outliers to any example, but it’s important that you understand your set of values and morals and put them to action if you choose to concealed carry.
Should you choose to learn more about these statistics or anything about the firearm world, contact Silencer Central. We are major advocates in the right to concealed carry, but only when it is done so with the respect of the weapon and a full understanding of the gravity of the firearm world. Learn more about us today!BUY NOW!