Study finds consistent link between violent crime and concealed-carry gun permits

The first study to find a significant relationship between firearm crime and subsequent applications for, and issuance of, concealed-carry gun permits has been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

The paper, "Firearm Violence and Effects on Concealed Gun Carrying: Large Debate and Small Effects," found there is a consistent link between violent —especially crimes that involve guns—and an increase in the number of people issued carry permits over two time periods examined in the study, said Jeremy Carter, an assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

While the link is consistent and robust, Carter said the magnitude of this association is relatively low.

"It seems the level of debate surrounding violence and concealed carrying far outweighs any observed effects," Carter and his co-author, Michael Binder, an assistant professor at the University of North Florida, conclude. "We acknowledge that other factors are just as—if not more—important and highlight the need for more refined research to parse out any plausible relationships."

"From a theoretical perspective, the finding of firearm crime as a predictor of concealed carrying is the first such demonstrable relationship and provides evidence that should solicit further investigation," the study says.

The research focuses on county-level data from all 67 counties in Florida, which has issued more concealed-carry permits than any other state. As of November 2015, there were 1.6 million valid concealed-carry permits in Florida.

The study measures violent crime using the Uniform Crime Reporting index offenses of violent crime, including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The two time periods examined by the study are 2005 to 2012 and 1996 to 2012.

Theoretically, nonviolent crime receives noticeably less media attention and does not carry the heightened degree of sensitivity that comes with firearm violence. As such, there could be unique differences between firearm and non-firearm violence that might influence people's decision to want to carry a , says Carter.

Given the complexity of legal gun carrying, Carter and his co-author included a number of control variables that helped to isolate the effects of firearm violence. Carter said, "After controlling for a range of possible explanatory factors, the relationship between firearm violence and subsequent legal gun permitting is quite present."

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Epidemiologic Reviews devotes special issue to research on gun violence

More information: J. G. Carter et al. Firearm Violence and Effects on Concealed Gun Carrying: Large Debate and Small Effects, Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2016). DOI: 10.1177/0886260516633608
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Citation: Study finds consistent link between violent crime and concealed-carry gun permits (2016, February 29) retrieved 14 October 2019 from
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Feb 29, 2016
So, where there are more violent crimes, there are more CCW applications? OK, who was footing the bill for this study? O.o

Feb 29, 2016
THe foregoing article correctly rejects the partisan implication that more guns cause more crime with guns. It may very well be that awareness of more crime motivates more people to acquire guns for their own defense.

There are two areas of study which would help us to understand the phenomena, and to answer the question of which came first, so as to better guide public policy.

In the first place, it is obvious that there has been a rush to acquire guns in recent times. It should be a simple matter to compare the magnitude of the change in non-justifiable homicides with guns with the magnitude of the change in the number of guns in private hands.

Beyond that, we might look at which variable's change in magnitude, i.e., the number of non-ustifiable homicides or the number of guns in private hands, preceded the other temporally. This would indicate either which variable causes the other, or that there in no causality in either direction..

Feb 29, 2016
A long time ago and in an employment galaxy far, far away I was a machine designer. In any event, we had a truism back then that I suspect remains in place today. Certainly it applies across a broad spectrum of fields, including the medical sciences. That truism goes: "Enough research tends to support one's conclusions." I strongly suspect that the authors of this "study" kind of, sort of, almost certainly, harbored Anti-Second Amendment views even before they completed their work. When my home state of Ohio approved concealed carry there was all this talk about Dodge City shoot-outs. That never happened. Even my own county sheriff has made a 180 on the matter going from "not so much" to a CCW permit approver. And when I read comments like "In a perfect world, you wouldn't need guns. This is not a perfect world."
by Sheriff Ben Johnson of Volusia County, Florida; yeah, scientists can be dofusses, too,

Feb 29, 2016
So violent crime, especially crime involving guns results in citizens acquiring carry permits to allow them to defend themselves against the violent crime. Not only does it make sense, but its a perfectly reasonable response.

Feb 29, 2016
Hey look, I don't even need a degree or to do any real scientific study to tell you that in places where there's more rain, more people own umbrellas. Go figure, as violent crime increases, more people apply for concealed carry permits.

Feb 29, 2016
Causation is not correlation. Those who study this phenomenon need to be careful with this kind of study, and be mindful of how such studies are published and/or used.

Feb 29, 2016
Well, commenters above have made up their minds; the crime was there first followed by an increase in gun ownership/permits. That certainly makes sense, but if gun ratio doesn't contribute to homicidal rates, what is it that makes the US so violent that their homicide rate is off the charts compared to any other developed country?

Feb 29, 2016
Professor Carter:
Perhaps you can tell us exactly how you calculated that concealed carry permits increased violent crime when, in fact, the violent crime in Florida DECREASED from 1996 to 2012, according to the FBI's UCR data, which the article said was your source of data.

Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter: 7.5/100,000 population to 5.2
Forcible Rape 52.1/100,000 population to 27.2
Robbery: 289.2/100,000 population to 123.7
Aggravated Assault: 702.2/100,000 population to 330.9
UCR DataTool

In all, the rate of violent crime in Florida in 2012 had fallen to LESS THAN HALF of that observed in 1996. Perhaps the key is, "After controlling for a range of possible explanatory factors..." Translation: You fudged the numbers in some bizarre way until you got them to come out the way you wanted.

Feb 29, 2016
This study is baloney.
It is clear where violence is more prevalent there is a higher number of people wanting concealed carry. Duh.
It takes no grant money to know this. Another academic rip-off.

Feb 29, 2016
Could this "increase" simply be an effect of victims shooting back?

Feb 29, 2016
It is politically-motivated junk "science" like this that is the reason funding for this garbage needs to be cut off, permanently. This is just an anti-2nd amendment liberal puff-piece masquerading as "science". Pitiful. Here's a scientific fact for ya, guys: Guns and the freedom of the 2nd Amendment aren't going anywhere. The gun-control ship has sailed, and sunk in the mouth of the harbor. Deal with it.

Feb 29, 2016
@Pointdexter - And you can keep living the NRA fantasy that guns will keep you safe. By that token, the US should have the least gun violence of all countries in the world and Japan or Britain, the highest

Feb 29, 2016
The statistical sleight-of-hand hopolophobes like to use is that places with high gun ownership rates have more "gun deaths."

What they won't tell you is that those places have the lowest per capita murder rates.

More guns, less murder.

Bill Whittle's YouTube video "Number One With a Bullet" illustrates this very succinctly.

Fact is, states and countries with low gun ownership rates lead the nation and world in per capita murder rate.

They also lead the world in violent crime rate.

Gun-controlled Britain has a low homicide rate, but it has the highest violent crime rate in the EU, a violent crime rate that is higher than even South Africa, and much higher than the United States.

The only first-world nation with a higher violent crime rate than Britain is Australia, a nation that also banned and confiscated firearms.

Feb 29, 2016
And these kinds of bogus studies is the reason why the leftist gun grabbers wants to give the CDC the duty of researching "gun violence". Its a setup.

Feb 29, 2016
to the guy that asked " what is it that makes the US so violent that their homicide rate is off the charts compared to any other developed country?"

Suicides , gang violence and the fact that lawful gun owners get lumped into gun violence statistics. Also, Take out the 13 top most violent inner cities, which happen to be mostly democrat controlled, and America goes up to one of the safest countries on earth. Its lies through statistics.

Feb 29, 2016
The only question I would have is how many concealed weapon permit holders were arrested for crimes? It would certainly make sense that in high crime areas that more people would be interested in obtaining a concealed weapon permit. How about a study one that?

Feb 29, 2016
The article has a deceptive and inflammatory headline that is completely at odds with the content. It clearly says that the increase in concealed carry permits is a response to violent crime, NOT the cause of violent crime. The media exploits violent crime for sales and page hits, "if it bleeds, it leads" but the actual crime rate outside of a few liberal utopias is at the lowest rate in decades. Like the signs you see in Singapore "Low Crime is not NO Crime", unless you are willing to be responsible for yourself don't expect anyone else to take care of you.

Feb 29, 2016
If gun circulation had no impact on crimes, i'd be Santa Claus.

But, the question is whether or not it is too late for regulation ? How could one abandon his gun for self-defense use when there would be a hundred million of illegal guns flowing at the same time in the country ?
I think mass shootings won't stop anytime soon because USA is in a tricky position which has no obvious solution.

Just hope that your son or daughter won't be the next to be shot, else you'll become a pro-regulation monster (because of, you know, empathy, a kind of cognitive process that people deem not useful to apply farther than their immediate experience and social circle nowadays).

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