Now we can’t say that without a doubt the reason the murder rate (gun crime rates and violent crime rates as well) continue to drop is because gun ownership in America continues to rise… but it’s an awfully easy conclusion to arrive at.
A new study from the Crime Prevention Research Center found a dramatic connection between the murder rate and the number of concealed carry permits. A recent Fox News report dug into those numbers and came to some startling conclusions.
The study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, up from 4.5 million in 2007. The 146 percent increase has come even as both murder and violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent.
“When you allow people to carry concealed handguns, you see changes in the behavior of criminals,” said the center’s president, John R. Lott, a Fox News contributor. “Some criminals stop committing crimes, others move on to crimes in which they don’t come into contact with victims and others actually move to areas where they have less fear of being confronted by armed victims.”
Six states don’t require a permit for legal gun owners to conceal their weapons, and Lott notes those states have some of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation.
The real measure of the deterrent effect of concealed carry permits, according to Lott, is not laws on the books, but the percentage of a given state’s population that holds the permits. In 10 states, more than 8 percent of adults hold concealed carry permits, and all are among the states with the lowest crime rates. Lott claims his group’s analysis shows that each one percentage point increase in the adult population holding permits brings a 1.4 percent drop in the murder rate.
“We found that the size of the drop [in crime] is directly related to the percentage of the population with permits,” Lott said.
Dr. Gina Loudon recently spoke with researcher John Lott to better understand how we can reduce gun violence and what studies like this one mean.
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