Crime Statistics on Concealed Carry Permit Holders

As I’ve researched concealed carry laws in different states, I’ve learned a lot.  Part of the reason for this research is because we’ll likely be taking a trip down to Texas soon, and I wanted to know if my future Kansas concealed carry permit would apply all the way down.  It does, because both Oklahoma and Texas honor a Kansas concealed carry permit.

One of the things I’ve learned is that, since concealed carry provisions are on the rise in states (Nebraska just enacted their concealed carry permits a couple years ago) they’re eager to show that it was a good decision.  Or maybe they’re just eager to make sure that if it isn’t working out, they’ll be the first to know.  But states are publishing interesting statistics on crime, and the demographics of concealed carry permit holders.  Interestingly, the highest demographic for violent crime (men in their early 20’s) are also one of the smallest groups of legal concealed carriers.  Old people are packing, people!

I recently researched getting a 2nd concealed carry permit from Texas, to add 9 states to the list of places I can legally carry a concealed weapon.  I stumbled on some great statistics.  I based all my numbers on data from 2007, because that’s the most recent year for which all data was available.

From Many Eyes I learned that the total population of Texas is about 23.9 million people, of which 16.6 million meet the age requirement for a concealed carry permit.  The rest of my stats were provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Concealed Carry site, which was extremely helpful.

According to this pdf, there were 288,908  concealed carry permit holders in 2007.  This means that 1.75% of age-eligible residents own a concealed carry permit.  And according to this pdf, only 0.26% (about a quarter of a percent) of gun crimes are commited by concealed carry permit holders.  That means that concealed carry permit holders are seven times less likely to commit gun crimes.  Concealed carriers are safer!

This makes a lot of sense.  Concealed carry permit holders are required to pass a course covering the law surrounding firearms use, including when it is acceptable to use deadly force, and how to do so within the bounds of the law.  The course also requires a level of proficiency with handguns that lowers the risk of accidental injury.  Concealed carry permit holders also undergo a federal background check, submit their fingerprints, and photo identification.  In short, it would be much easier to identify and convict them if they were to abuse their privilege.  Concealed carriers have more to lose by commiting a gun crime – they’re held to a higher level of accountability.

This shouldn’t deter you from obtaining a concealed carry permit, and using it responsibly.  Of course, I wish people were allowed to carry firearms freely without a permit, and regulation.  Criminals are bullies, and they thrive on the weak.  It becomes much harder to rob a convenience store, or go on a shooting rampage at a school or mall when the shooter has to think twice about how many people might also be armed.

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