Research shows big increase in women, minorities with permits

A new study from a pro-gun research group suggests that the states with the most relaxed concealed carry laws have lower rates of murder and violent crime than states that make carrying a handgun tougher, with murder rates in states that do not require a permit to carry a handgun 33 percent lower than in states that severely restrict concealed carry.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, the 25 states with the highest permit rates had lower violent crime and murder rates than those with the least concealed carry permit holders. And though researchers admitted simple “cross-sectional comparisons can be very misleading,” they argued data show that for every new concealed carry permit, crime drops dramatically.

“After accounting for the per capita number of police and new prison admissions as well as demographics … state level permit data suggests that each one percentage point increase in the percent of the adult population holding permits is roughly associated with a 25 percent drop in the murder rate,” CPRC researchers said. Nationally, the murder rate has fallen 25 percent as the rate of concealed carry holders has increased 156 percent, researchers added.

The study, dubbed “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across The United States,” is the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between anti-gun academics who say increased gun ownership results in more violent crime and pro-gun statisticians who say the numbers clearly show more guns mean less crime. On July 8, for example, the Journal Of Preventative Medicine published a report that argued “firearms assaults” were nearly 7 percent more likely in states with the highest gun ownership rates.

The battle over concealed carry rights and gun ownership was also reignited after a suspected gunman killed nine parishioners at a South Carolina church whose chief pastor was strongly against expanded carry rights in the state.

Surprisingly, the CPRC study shows some evidence that concealed carry rates are increasing dramatically among women and minorities, with women holding permits increasing 270 percent since 2007 and permits for blacks increasing more than twice those of whites.

Using Texas as an example, which is one of the few states provides a detailed racial breakdown of its concealed carry permits, “permitting has increased fastest by blacks, followed closely by Asians. Indeed, while whites still hold the vast majority of permits, the number of black permit holders has grown more than twice as fast as the number for whites.”

“Of particular interest, black females are clearly the fastest growing concealed handgun permit group, increasing by 3.44 times faster than white females,” the CPRC study added.