MYTH: An increase in concealed carry permit holders will increase crime, especially violent crime.
REALITY: There is not a lot of evidence to support the claim that increasing the number of concealed carry holders results in more crime. The opposite may be the case. It is an undeniable fact that murder rates have decreased as the percentage of the adult population with permitted concealed handguns has increased. In addition, a majority of studies show that an increase in concealed carry permit holders results in a decrease in violent crimes. A recent review by the Rand Corporation, a non-partisan research organization, found that out of 22 large-scale studies that they reviewed; 14 studies showed a decrease in violent crimes, 5 studies show an increase, and 3 studies were either mixed or no change. This is similar to the results of a 2008 article in Econ Journal Watch. The article surveyed peer-reviewed empirical academic studies, and found that 10 supported the claim that right-to-carry reduces crime, 8 supported no significant effect and none supported an increase.
When you look at states, like Florida, you see that after the implementation of laws allowing concealed carry, the crime rate significantly decreased.
In 1987, the Republican governor of Florida, Bob Martinez, signed a bill into law that allowed any citizen who clears a fingerprint-based background check and passes gun-safety classes to receive a permit to carry a concealed handgun for protection. After the law was signed, the murder rate saw an immediate decline. Before the law, Floridians were about 36 percent more likely to be murdered than other Americans; after a few years, the Florida rate was equal to or slightly less than the national rate.
In Florida as a whole, 315,000 permits had been issued between 1987 and 1995. Out of the 315,000 permits, only five had been revoked because the permit holder committed a violent crime with a gun; there were 12 documented defensive gun uses, and there were no reports of permit holders shooting innocent people by accident.
The data illustrates that permit holders are significantly less likely to commit crimes than non-permit holders. In Florida, permit holders, are about 300 times less likely to commit a gun crime than Floridians without permits.
In conclusion, the crime rate has gone down during the same period that concealed and carry holders have gone up. More studies support the claim that crime decreases as concealed and carry holders increase. Permit holders are less likely to commit a gun crime, they’re more likely to use a gun defensively than criminally, and they’re not likely to shoot an innocent bystander.
Check out this list of 60+ times Concealed Permit Holders stopped mass shooters (Click here)
An expanded study from the Crime Prevention Research Center lists more than 60 instances in which a concealed carry permit holder stopped a mass shooter.
Carlisle E. Moody and Thomas B. Marvell, “The Debate on Shall-Issue Laws”, Econ Journal Watch Vol. 5, Iss. 3 (2008).
Carlisle E. Moody & Thomas B. Marvell, 2019. “Do Right to Carry Laws Increase Violent Crime? A Comment on Donohue, Aneja, and Weber,” Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 16(1), pages 84-96, March.
Effects of concealed-carry laws on violent crime. RAND Corporation. (2020, April 22). Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://www.rand.org/research/gun-policy/analysis/concealed-carry/violent-crime.html
Kopel, D. (n.d.). The Untold Triumph of Concealed and Carry Permits. Davekopal.org. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from https://davekopel.org/2A/Mags/Untold-Triumph-Concealed-Carry-Permits.html
Lott, John R., and Whitley, John E and Riley, Rebekah, Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States (July 13, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2629704 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2629704