Myth 3: Concealed carry will result in increases in gun related deaths, accidents, road rage and crime in general
Myth 3:Concealed carry will result in increases in gun related deaths, accidents, road rage and crime in general. Letting qualified civilians carry concealed will result in gun fights in the streets and the "wild west" in our neighborhoods.
Fact 3: Exactly the opposite happens.
Fact 3a: As of 2002 RTC states had 24% lower total violent crime, 22% lower murder, 37% lower robbery, and 20% lower aggravated assault when compared with non-RTC states (FBI crime statistics).
Fact 3b: The nation's crime rate has decreased every year since 1991 and in 2002 hit a 23-year low (i.e., it is now equal to the crime rates of the late 1970's).
Fact 3c: If those states which did not have RTC provisions had adopted them in 1992, about 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, and more than 60,000 aggravated assaults (covering 1992 to 1996) would have been avoided. The estimated annual savings from allowing concealed handguns is at least $6.2 billion. John Lott and David Mustard ("Crime, Deterrence, and Right to Carry Concealed Handguns," Jr. of Legal Studies, v. 96, pp. 1-68, 1997). Also see Professor Lott's "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws," 1998, Univ. of Chicago Press Studies in Law and Economics.
Fact 3d: "Concerns that permit holders would lose their tempers in traffic accidents have been unfounded. Worries about risks to police officers have also proved unfounded... National surveys of police show they support concealed handgun laws by a 3-1 margin... There is also not a single academic study that claims RTC laws have increased state crime rates. The debate among academics has been over how large the benefits have been" ("Should Michigan keep new concealed weapon law? Don't believe gun foe scare tactics," Detroit News, 1/14/01).
Fact 3e: "Whenever a state legislature first considers a concealed-carry bill, opponents typically warn of horrible consequences... But within a year of passage, the issue usually drops off the news media's radar screen, while gun-control advocates in the legislature conclude that the law wasn't so bad after all" (David Kopel, "The Untold Triumph of Concealed-Carry Permits," Policy Review, July-Aug., 1996:9).
Fact 3f: As evidenced in the tables that follow, from Lott (1998, referenced above) and "Firearms: A Handbook for Health Professionals," (1999, Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, D. Stolinsky, M.D. and T. Wheeler, M.D.), changes that occur before and after the introduction of RTC laws are self explanatory (note: states that most recently adopted RTC laws are not included because there are not enough post-treatment years during which data have been collected). Also note that trends are obtained "after taking into account and factoring out the effect of other variables that could account for the reduction in violent crime, such as changes in population, income levels, racial and age breakdown, changes in arrest rates, conviction rates, increased sentencing penalties, and changes in other gun control laws. For example, one of the other conclusions an analysis of the data provided was that waiting periods appear to have no effect on the violent crime rate" (Attorney Jeff Snyder in "Fighting Back Crime, Self-Defense, and the Right to Carry a Handgun," in Policy Analysis, p. 18).