Second Amendment

A Bogus Study on Concealed-Carry Killings

Permit holders are model citizens who fight crime, not rogues responsible for murders.

Political Editors · Nov. 7, 2019

The anti-gun Violence Policy Center (VPC) released a study recently with an eye-popping claim: Concealed-carry-permit holders have killed 1,335 people since 2007. “Too many concealed-carry permit holders are a direct threat to public safety,” warns the VPC. Purporting to review “non-self-defense incidents” involving firearms, the VPC says its research proves that “allowing random people to carry guns endangers public safety.” We’re shocked — shocked — to report that this is fake news.

First of all, there are roughly 18 million permit holders now — three times as many as when the VPC started tracking this data in 2007. A crime wave among them would be big news, but instead concealed-carry-permit holders are, as a group, more law-abiding than police officers. They are model citizens, not “random people” apt to commit crime.

That’s true for a couple of reasons. Permit holders in many states undergo training before receiving their permits, and every state that issues permits requires a bear minimum of a background check first. People who submit to such requirements are almost by definition more law-abiding than those who don’t — at least compared to other “random people” carrying guns without permits.

Did we mention that law-abiding gun owners, whether holding a concealed-carry permit or not, stop hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of crimes each year? That includes stopping mass shootings. For this reason, as the number of gun owners and permit holders has drastically increased, crime has gone down.

So what gives with the VPC’s bogus research? Well, as The Daily Signal’s Amy Swearer explains, “The anti-gun group defines ‘non-self-defense incident’ to include virtually any fatality involving a concealed-carry permit holder, including ones that do not remotely resemble the type of intentional homicide evoked by the Violence Policy Center’s strong claims about public safety. For example, roughly 40% of the deaths (534 of 1,335 [recorded in the study]) are suicides. While tragic, firearm suicides are not what a term like ‘concealed-carry killer’ brings to mind.”

The VPC also counts shootings in which the courts have not yet determined claims of self-defense, meaning the VPC preemptively convicted people for the purposes of “research.” This study is clearly meant to spread fear and opposition to national reciprocity — despite the fact that drivers kill far more people than guns do each year, and yet we have national reciprocity for drivers’ licenses.

Bottom line: The VPC’s study is probably only good for printing out and hanging up as target practice.

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