Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Concealed Carry: Top 10 Myths

Myth #1: Concealed Carry Doesn’t Prevent Crimes

Fact: News reports tell many stories of armed civilians preventing mass murder in public.

A few selected at random include:

• A citizen with a gun stopped a knife-wielding man as he began stabbing people in a Salt Lake City store.

• Two men retrieved firearms from their cars and stopped a mass murder at the Appalachian School of Law.

• Citizen takes out shooter while police were penned down in Early, Texas.

• Citizen stops apartment shoot-up in Oklahoma City.

Myth #2 : Concealed Carry Laws Increase Crime

Fact: Fortytwo states, comprising the majority of the American population, are “right-to-carry” states.

Of these 42, thirty eight are “shall issue” states where anyone without a criminal record will be issued a permit, and four states require no permit.

In 1988 there were only 10 “right-to-carry” states.

Statistics show that in these states the crime rate has fallen or did not rise after the right-to-carry law became active as of July 2006.

Eight states are “may issue” states where it is nearly impossible to obtain a CCW permit.

Fact: Gun homicides were 10% higher in states with restrictive CCW laws, according to a study spanning 1980-2009.

Fact: Crime rates involving gun owners with carry permits have consistently been about 0.02% of all carry permit holders since Florida’s right-to-carry law started in 1988. 

Fact: After passing their concealed carry law, Florida’s homicide rate fell from 36% above the national average to 4% below, and remains below the national average (as of the last reporting period, 2005).

Fact: In Texas, murder rates fell 50% faster than the national average in the year after their concealed carry law passed.

Texas also saw rape rates fall 93% faster in the first year after enactment, and 500% faster in the second. And, assaults fell 250% faster in the second year.

Fact: Crime is significantly higher in states without right-to-carry laws.

Fact: States that disallow concealed carry have violent crime rates 11% higher than national averages.

Fact: Deaths and injuries from mass public shootings fall dramatically after right-to-carry concealed handgun laws are enacted.

Between 1977 and 1995, the average death rate from mass shootings plummeted by up to 91% after such laws went into effect, and injuries dropped by over 80%.

Myth #3: Concealed Carry Permit Holders Shoot Police

Fact: The Violence Police Center started listing instances of CCW holders shooting police.

From May 2007 through November 2009 (2.5 years) they recorded nine police deaths.

Three of those were in one mass killing by a white supremacist using an AK-47 rifle, not a handgun which is what concealed carry pertains to.

Myth #4: People With Concealed Weapons Permits Will Commit Crimes

Fact: The results for the first 30 states that passed “shall-issue” laws for concealed carry permits are similar in that all had noticable decreases in crime.

Fact: In Texas, citizens with concealed carry permits are 14 times less likely to commit a crime. They are also five times less likely to commit a violent crime. 

Fact: People with concealed carry permits are:

• 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for violent offenses than the general public

• 13.5 times less likely to be arrested for non-violent offenses than the general public

Fact: Even gun control organizations agree it is a "non-problem," as in Texas for example, “because there haven’t been Wild West shootouts in the streets” as predicted.

Fact: Of 14,000 CCW licensees in Oregon, only 4 (0.03%) were convicted of the criminal (not necessarily violent) use or possession of a firearm.

Fact: In Florida, a state that has allowed concealed carry since late 1987, you are twice as likely to be attacked by an alligator as by a person with a concealed carry permit.

Myth #5: 460 People Have Been Killed By CCW Permit Holders

Fact: The “study” by gun control group Violence Policy Center covers a six year span, meaning about 76 shootings of all types, including justifiable homicides.

Fact: As of 2001, there are over 11,000,000 CCW holders, meaning the worst case kill rate (justifiable or not) is 0.004% of all CCW holders.

Myth #6: Concealed Guns In Bars Will Cause Violence

Fact: In Virginia, in the first year where CCW holders were allowed to, the number of major crimes involving firearms at bars and restaurants statewide declined 5.2%

The crimes that occurred during the law’s first year were relatively minor.

Myth #7: Texas CCW Holders Are Arrested 66% More Often

Fact: Most arrests cited are not any form of violent crime and includes bounced checks or tax delinquency.

Fact: The Violence Policy Center “study” only includes arrests, not convictions.

Fact: Many of these arrests in this premature VPC “study” came in the early years of Texas CCWs when the law was not understood by most of the law enforcement community or prosecutors.

Fact: Compared to the entire population, Texas CCW holders are about 7.6 times less likely to be arrested for a violent crime. 

The numbers breakdown as follows:

• 214,000 CCW holders

• 526 (0.2%) felony arrests of CCW holders that have been adjudicated

• 100 (0.05%) felony convictions

Fact: A different study concludes that the four year violent crime arrest rate for CCW holders is 128 per 100,000.

For the general population, it is 710 per 100,000. In other words, CCW holders are 5.5 times less likely to commit a violent crime.

Fact: “I … [felt] that such legislation present[ed] a clear and present danger to law-abiding citizens by placing more handguns on our streets. Boy was I wrong. Our experience in Harris County, and indeed statewide, has proven my fears absolutely groundless”. -Harris County Texas District Attorney John B Holmes.

Myth #8: CCWs Will Lead To Mass Public Shootings

Fact: Multiple victim public shootings drop in states that pass shall-issue CCW legislation.

Fact: CCW holders have prevented or curtailed mass public shootings, examples:

• Pearl, Mississippi (Pearl Junior High School)
• Edinboro, Pennsylvania (Parker Middle School)
• Winnemucca, Nevada (Players Bar and Grill)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado (New Life Church)

Fact: Of all the alternatives to preventing mass public shootings, police officers believe that civilian concealed carry is te most effective.

A full 86% also believe mass shooting “casualties would likely have been reduced” or “avoided altogether.”

Myth #9: People Do Not Need Concealable Weapons

Fact: In 80% of gun defenses, the defender used a concealable handgun. A quarter of the gun defenses occurred in places away from the defender’s home.

Fact: 77% of all violent crime occurs in public places. 

This makes concealed carry necessary for almost all self-defense needs. But due to onerous laws forbidding concealed carry, only 26.8% of defensive gun uses occurred away from home.

Fact: Often, small weapons that are capable of being concealed are the only ones usable by people of small stature or with physical disabilities.

Fact: The average citizen doesn’t need a Sport Utility Vehicle, but driving one is arguably safer than driving other vehicles.

Similarly, carrying a concealable gun makes the owner – and his or her community – safer by providing protection not otherwise available.

Myth #10: Police & Prosecutors Are Against Concealed Carrying By Citizens

Fact: Expain this to the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, Second Amendment Police Department, and Law Enforcement for the Preservation of the Second Amendment, all of whom support shall-issue concealed carry laws.

Fact: In a survey of 15,000 officers, 91% said concealed carry should be permitted citizens “without question and without further restrictions.”

Fact: 66% of police chiefs believe that citizens carrying concealed firearms reduce rates of violent crime.

Fact: These pro-conceal carry quotes from police and prosecutors:

"to the best of my knowledge, we have not had an issue. I had expected there would be a lot more problems … But it has actually worked out.” Lt. William Burgress; Calhoun County Michigan. 2005

"In a recent poll, more than eighty-five percent of our 1352 members favored Right-to-Carry." - Letter to St. Louis Police Chief Ron Henderson, from Sgt. John J. Johnson, President St. Louis Police Officers Association, 1999

"I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict. That hasn't happened. All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman. I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have permits. I'm a convert." - Glenn White, President of the Dallas Police Association, Dallas Morning News, 1997

"To set the record straight… The process is working… The statistics show a majority of concealed firearms or firearm licensees are honest, law-abiding citizens exercising their right to be armed for the purpose of lawful self defense." - Sandra B. Mortham, Florida Secretary of State.

"The concerns I had – with more guns on the street, folks may be more apt to square off against one another with weapons – we haven't experienced that." - Charlotte-Mecklenburg NC Police Chief Dennis Nowicki, The News and Observer.

"The facts are in and the record is clear: Right to Carry gives law enforcement, their families and our communities real protection from violent criminals." – James J. Fotis, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Alliance of America.

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