Weak concealed carry laws linked to spike in violent crime: Johns Hopkins

Weak concealed carry laws linked to spike in violent crime: Johns Hopkins

States with relaxed concealed carry laws have seen spikes in violent crimes, according to recent studies.

Published online on Sept. 20, one of the studies, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, focused on 36 states that loosened their concealed carry permit requirements between 1980 and 2019. 

It found that 34 states with right-to-carry laws saw a 24% increase in firearm assaults.

States with live firearm safety training requirements did not see significant increases in gun crimes as compared to states without these measures.

“In general, violent crime increased after states loosened concealed carry permitting requirements,” said Dr. Mitchel Doucette, assistant scientist in the Department of Health Policy and Management and director of research methods at the Center for Gun Violence Solutions at the Bloomberg School.

The Supreme Court recently overturned New York State's restrictions on concealed carry permits.
The US Supreme Court recently overturned New York state’s restrictions on concealed carry permits.
Robert Miller

“Allowing more individuals to carry concealed guns in public … can increase inappropriate use of firearms in response to interpersonal conflicts, disputes, or other situations.”

The Johns Hopkins study — published just months after the US Supreme Court overturned a New York state law restricting concealed firearms — aligns with another recent analysis of concealed carry laws.

Earlier this year, the National Bureau for Economics found that RTC laws in 47 cities across the US led to a 29% increase in violent gun crimes.

Police remove the body from a fatal shooting California in July.
Police remove the body after a fatal shooting in California in July.

Concealed carry laws also inhibited police effectiveness, with clearance rates falling between 7% and 15% across four violent crime categories. The study attributed these statistics in part to “police hesitation to engage with a more heavily armed civilian population.”

Shannon Watts, founder of the gun safety organization Moms Demand Action, told Newsweek on Tuesday that she was not surprised by the results of either study.

“The gun industry’s guns everywhere agenda is part of the dangerous extremism we are seeing grip the Republican Party,” she said.

Concealed carry permits were also shown to limit police effectiveness.
Concealed carry permits were also shown to limit police effectiveness.
Getty Images

“By putting profits for the gun industry ahead of their constituents’ public safety and passing extreme laws like permitless carry that are opposed by law enforcement, MAGA Republicans have made it easier for criminals to get guns and have made crime worse.”

Watts’ concerns appear to reflect a growing sense of unease. According to a recent poll by Monmouth University, 51% of respondents ranked gun control as a very important issue in the upcoming election.

All three analyses come after The Post reported on a 54% increase in concealed carry applications after the June Supreme Court ruling.

Both New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul previously slammed the decision, which would allow concealed carry in public, excluding specific “sensitive locations.”

“This whole concept that a good guy with a gun will stop the bad guys with a gun doesn’t hold up — and the data backs this up,” Hochul said in August.

Adams added, “You cannot tell me this is not a feeling of being surreal [with the city] posting these signs – ‘gun-free zones.’”

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