By: Teresa Mull
Don’t adopt Constitutional Carry, gun grabbers say, it will cause law-abiding citizens suddenly to become crazed wild folk who will start shooting at a moment’s notice.
The only thing standing in the way of a murderous society, after all, are laws requiring people to ask the government permission (and take classes, submit fingerprints, pay a fee) before they exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Without these restrictions, society would be bloody chaos in seconds, right?
Responsible gun owners know that criminals will be criminals, and gun control laws do nothing but inhibit the law-abiding from defending themselves against evil actors.
Data confirms this logic, and new statistics from the FBI show the trend continues: enacting Constitutional Carry did not increase crime in West Virginia.
The FBI Crime Data Explorer showed the rate of violent crime offenses by population in West Virginia at 362.7 per 100,000 in 2016, the year the law passed. That number had risen from 347.5 in 2015, 316.4 in 2014, and 305.2 in 2013. After that, the violent crime rate in the Mountain State has been mostly downhill: 361.2 in 2017; 299.9 in 2018; and 316.6 in 2019. One provision: The FBI doesn’t receive reports from all of the state’s approximately 435 law enforcement agencies.
While the West Virginia News says that violent crime involving handguns rose after Constitutional Carry became the law, that’s not what the data indicates. The 644 offenses reported in 2017 is less than the 706 reported in 2016, when the law took effect, and since then the number of crimes has only declined. In fact, most of the local law enforcement that the West Virginia News spoke with say they haven’t seen any ill effects from Constitutional Carry’s implementation at all.
What’s more, as GPM continues to reiterate, Constitutional Carry has been the law of the land in several states for years now. The top three safest states in the U.S. – Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire – are all Constitutional Carry states. In fact, permitless carry has always been on the books in Vermont. And where’s the violent gun crime? In places like Chicago and Los Angeles, where strict gun control makes sure only criminals have guns.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.