The number of concealed carry handgun permits has skyrocketed since President Obama was first elected, while murder rates have fallen, according to a new report released Wednesday.
Since 2007, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared from 4.6 million to over 12.8 million, and murder rates have fallen from 5.6 killings per 100,000 people to just 4.2, about a 25 percent drop, according to the report from the Crime Prevention Research Center.
And the number of permits issued is increasing faster every year. Over 1.7 million new permits were issued last year — a 15.4 percent increase over 2013, the largest such single-year jump ever, according to the report from the center led by President John R. Lott and research director John E. Whitley.
The number of concealed carriers is likely even higher, since permits are not required in eight states.
Gun rights advocates say that the findings in the report fall in line with their personal experiences and research and directly refute the liberal argument that more guns lead to more violence.
“It puts the lie to the myth promulgated by anti-gun individuals that somehow more law-abiding citizens carrying guns will lead to more crime. In fact, quite the opposite is the case,” said Larry Keene, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “More law-abiding citizens own firearms for self-protection, and crime continues to decline.”
But according to the latest report, concealed carriers are among the most law-abiding citizens in the country, even more so than police officers.
In Florida and Texas permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies at one-sixth the rate that police officers are convicted, according to the report.
“The citizen concealed carrier I don’t think ever forgets the fact that he’s a citizen on display, and he knows that he’s representative of a group of people,” said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. “The last thing a concealed carrier wants to do is get into a situation where they have to use the gun. Even if it were a legitimate use, they know just what kind of horrible mess their life will become once they use that gun.”
Researchers attributed the uptick in permits and gun sales to President Obama’s election.
Between 1999 and 2007 the number of permits increased by about 240,000 per year. But in the next four years, during Mr. Obama’s first term in the White House, the number of new permits issued jumped to 850,000 per year. From 2011 to 2013, the number increased by 1.5 million, rising to 1.7 million last year, according to the report.
Source: Kellan Howell, The Washington Times, Tuesday, July 14, 2015