Surprise: Study Finds No Rise in Violent Crime Attributable to Adopting Right-to-Carry Laws

Gun Rights

As we’ve noted recently, much research purporting to demonstrate connections between access to guns or right-to-carry laws and increases in crime is seriously flawed. Often it’s an attempt to curtail or eliminate Americans’ rights under the Second Amendment rather than unbiased scientific research. One recent study bucked that trend, however, finding no evidence of a link between access to firearms and increases in crime. “State Level Firearm Concealed-Carry Legislation and Rates of Homicide and Other Violent Crime,” (Hamill, Hernandez, Bailey, Zielinski, Matos, & Schiller, 2018) , examined an expansive dataset, encompassing all 50 states and the District of Columbia – from 1986 to 2015 – to determine whether a relationship existed between liberalization of access to legal concealed carry of firearms and rates of both violent and nonviolent crime. The 30 years’ worth of crime data comprised state-level crime rates for homicides, violent crime, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary from the Department of Justice Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided partially redundant figures, including state-based rates of homicide overall and firearm-specific homicide. State-specific rates of unemployment were provided by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics , and poverty rates were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau . Hamill et al. (2018) defined the ease with which state residents could obtain a carry permit in two ways: On a four-point scale: (1) no carry; (2) may-issue; (3) shall-issue; or, (4) unrestricted (i.e., constitutional carry) With a simpler, bipolar […]

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