Concealed Millions

I missed a tiny tidbit on my first pass through a recent Pew poll covering gun issues. The key paragraph is: “Among those who own a handgun, about one-in-four (26%) say they carry their gun with them outside of their home all or most of the time, a share that rises to 41% among those who think of their local community as unsafe.” The number was surprising to me only in that the concealed carry permit holders I know make holstering a standard part of their grooming process. If anything, I thought the rate of daily carry would have been higher. What does this mean in terms of guns on the street? The number is … Continue reading

Constitutional Carry Certainty

arizona constitutional carry firearm homicides vs. surrounding states

Back in 1988, when Florida became the first large state to enact shall-issue concealed carry, there was a great deal of uncertainty about the outcome. But their post-passage lack of bloodshed led to all but a handful of backwards thinking states (talking to you California) to pass similar legislation. The same thing might be happening with permitless carry (a.k.a. constitutional carry), where the whole concealed carry licensing process is jettisoned. I got curious about the criminological realities of permitless carry when a Gun Facts fan emailed to ask what we knew about the subject, which was nearly nothing. The reason is that aside from one outlier state, this is a new phenomenon and statistics are limited at best. But curiosity is a demon, and we had to take a peek. After a little number crunching, our extremely preliminary investigation concludes that permitless carry at very least causes no mayhem. The … Continue reading

Number Nuts

What economists and criminologists think about gun control

When both economists and criminologists think that concealed carry either decreases or does not change homicide rates, we may have scientific consensus. Main take-aways: Survey of economists and criminologists Only surveyed those who have published in peer reviewed publications Only surveyed those who studied empirical data Scientific consensus is that: Guns prevent crime more than cause it “Gun free” zones are dangerous Guns do not change suicide risk CCW licensees are very law abiding CCWs decrease or do not change homicide rates Studying People Who Study Guns Both economist and criminologists study crime. They take different views of it, the former examining crime as a rational response to risk and opportunity, and the latter from a legalistic and bureaucratic process. This caused economist John Lott and criminologist Gary Mauser to team-up and survey their peers on a small set of gun related issues. The goal was to see if there … Continue reading

Booze, Bullets and Bunk

everytown panic guns in bars

When propagandists panic, they show their own paranoia. I was forwarded an email from Michael Bloomberg’s agitprop organization, Everytown. In this email, they stated with authentic dismay and dread that in some states you can order a beer in a bar while having a holstered sidearm (providing you have a concealed carry license, a.k.a. CCW). Sane people – which evidently excludes folks working for Bloomberg – would ask “Is this a problem?” Phrased more fully, “Do CCW holders enjoying an adult beverage in their corner watering hole cause problems?” The answer is no. In fact, stats show it might actually abate violence. Shots and Glasses In our Non-Brady Scorecard project (buy a copy for just 99¢ at Amazon), we reviewed both pro- and anti-gun control laws, including allowing CCW holders to pack heat in pubs. Not many states allow this, but enough have had the law in place to at … Continue reading

Reducing Rampages

Stopping madmen with guns is – statistically speaking – best solved by people, not police, and people with guns. Rampage killings (which include all the common varieties of incidents where a lot of people are murdered, be it mass public shootings, active shooter events, spree killings, etc.) are what scares voters. Most people know and avoid rough neighborhoods. They also choose friends and mates wisely. This keeps mayhem low, evidenced by the fact most gun crime is isolated in a tiny number of towns with big city gang infestations. It is the random odds of dying in a rampage shooting that spooks folks. One fellow decided to see what keeps the most people alive in such incidents, and discovered citizens – especially armed citizens – are the most effective, and vastly more so than cops (see the section below on methodology, data quality, etc.). Survival is the objective The researcher … Continue reading

Campus Carry, Not Scary

Why does California State Senator Lois Wolk choose to be ignorant? With her representing a college town you would hope otherwise. Wolk is campaigning to largely prevent the few folks with California concealed carry licenses (CCW) from exercising the right on campuses (the bill as currently drafted, subject to change no doubt, leaves it up to schools to set policy). Ignoring how this creates legal jeopardy for CCW holders unaware of shifting restrictions from place to place, the bigger question is “why?” The empirical data does not support the need to discriminate as Wolk wants to do. In our recent Non-Brady State Scorecard report, we discovered that states that allow CCW holders to carry on campuses, both K12 public schools and college campuses, had significantly lower … Continue reading

Permitless Carry

permitless (Vermont) carry firearm homicides chart

Five states require no permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. Twenty more are considering it. Needless to say the gun control industry is apoplectic. They are riled as they have not been since states started following Florida’s lead and passing shall-issue, permitted concealed carry throughout the 1990s. Back then the gun control industry said permitted concealed carry was a terrible idea, and watched as violence rates dropped nationwide. Today they think permitless (constitutional) carry is a bad idea. For them it is a bad idea, because it is proving to be a non-problem. Currently four states have had permitless concealed carry laws enacted long enough to see what, if any, effect it might have in terms of violent crime. Kansas just passed their permitless carry legislation, so it is too soon to see if tornados kill more folks in Kansas than people packing pieces. Arkansas’ permitless carry law … Continue reading

Negligent Discharge and CCWs

sample CCW license

A Gun Facts fan asked what we know about concealed carry licencees and negligent discharges (accidental discharges). Frankly, there isn’t much out there. I wish there were concise statistics on this subject, but such events are rare enough that nobody in government, criminology or epidemiology finds it worth the trouble to investigate. The best we can do is triangulate some other numbers.  a) According to the CDC, in the most recent reporting year, there were 606 accidental firearm deaths. Not all of these were really accidents and not all were negligent discharges. There is no breakdown, but Gary Kleck’s Targeting Guns cites one set of studies (investigative reports by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company) that note most accidental gun deaths were due to dumb behavior (not negligent discharge) – people drunk, playing with guns, walking into a hunter’s line of fire, etc. b) There are about 11 million CCW holders in the … Continue reading