Do Concealed Weapons Make You a Better Person?

In the questionnaire the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition (PPFC) sent Colorado candidates, the group claims that:

 

federal studies have shown that citizens with concealed carry permits are more law-abiding, as a group, than law enforcement.

But that’s not what the National Academy of Science (NAS) said in its 2004 definitive report, [Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review]. The NAS report concludes:

For example, despite a wide body of research, the committee found no credible evidence that the passage of right-to-carry laws decreases or increases violent crime.

Meanwhile, a 2002 study of Texas concealed weapons carriers by the Violence Policy Center showed that these folks were arrested for weapons-related offenses at a much higher rate than the general population. The major findings included:

  • Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for two and one-half crimes a day since the law went into effect.
  • Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for more than two serious violent crimes per month since the law went into effect, including: murder/attempted murder, manslaughter/negligent homicide, kidnapping, rape, and sexual assault.
  • Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for more than two crimes against children per month since the law went into effect, including: sexual assault/aggravated sexual assault on a child, injury to a child, indecency with a child, abandon/endanger a child, solicitation of a minor, and possession or promotion of child pornography.
  • Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for more than four drunk driving offenses per week since the law went into effect.
  • Family violence was identified in one in 23 incidents involving concealed handgun license holders.10
  • Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for more than one weapon-related offense every other day since the law went into effect.
  • From 1996 to 2000, Texas concealed handgun license holders were arrested for weapon-related offenses at a rate 81 percent higher than that of the general population of Texas, aged 21 and older. These weapon-related offenses include arrests for 279 assaults or aggravated assaults with a deadly weapon, 671 unlawfully carrying a weapon, and 172 deadly conduct/discharge firearm.

Texas has since cut off access to this information. Too scary, I guess.

For more information on this issue, see the companion piece: Learning and Guns Go Together.

[cross posted at www.muckrakingmom.com]

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