NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Concealed Carry Permit Holders Are Law-Abiding

July 3, 2001

Since June 28, when a state supreme court ruling allowed a new state law to go into effect, Michigan residents have been allowed to get permits to carry concealed weapons. Some police groups are concerned that permit-holders will put police at more risk.

But observers point out that:

  • Michigan's homicide rate has long been well above the national average.
  • And prior to permits, Detroit already placed third in the ongoing competition to be the murder capital of the United States.

Moreover, some 33 states already have laws making it possible for most citizens to carry a concealed firearm. And, serious misconduct by concealed-weapon permit holders is comparatively rare. For instance,

  • In Texas, which has 215,582 licensees, only 178 people have lost their permits due to felony convictions since 1996.
  • Only three have gone to jail for murder or attempted murder.
  • Florida, one of the first states to embark on this experiment, issued more than 72,000 licenses in the past year, while revoking only 241.
  • Indiana, which has about 350,000 permit holders, canceled 921 last year, or about one-fourth of 1 percent of the total.
  • Among Utah's 40,000 licensees, only five have lost their privileges because of a conviction for murder or attempted murder.

In Texas, notes H. Sterling Burnett, a researcher at the National Center for Policy Analysis, "Licensees were 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for violent offenses than the general public."

As for Michigan cops who think their jobs will be more dangerous, Yale University law school scholar John Lott, Jr. offers reassuring news: "There has never been a case where a person with a permitted concealed handgun has killed a police officer."

Source: Steve Chapman, "Michigan's Threat from Concealed Weapons," Commentary, Chicago Tribune, June 28, 2001.


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