Debunking the Claim that Permitless Carry is Dangerous

While I love celebrating pro-gun victories all over the nation, I was especially happy when Georgia passed permitless carry.

After all, requiring a permit may have been determined permissible by Bruen, but it sure as hell still feels like a Second Amendment infringement to me.

Georgia wasn’t the first to adopt it, nor is it the last. These days, more than half the states allow some form of permitless carry.

And a lot of people are blaming it for the rise it homicides we’ve seen in the last couple of years.

But should they? Probably not.

In 2010, there were roughly 31,000 deaths in the United States in which someone used a firearm. That number gradually rose to around 40,000 by 2019. In the following 2 years, from 2019 through 2021—while leaders let the country devolve into lawlessness—the number spiked to around 49,000 deaths. Those numbers would seem to suggest more guns equal more gun deaths, and that is what we hear.

However, that doesn’t paint the entire picture. Over that same 11-year period, the estimated population of the United States increased by 26 million people, from around 311 to 337 million. This is an estimate, and the number could actually be even higher depending on which number one uses to tally the illegal alien population, which is estimated at anywhere between 10 to 20 million!

Numbers Don’t Lie, But People Do—

If the raw numbers of deaths involving firearms would have followed its normal curve—and not spiked from 2019 to 2021 in part because of sanctioned riots and forced covid lockdowns—the number of deaths per 100,000 people, or the likelihood of being killed by someone with a firearm was no higher than it was before permitless and concealed carry became widely accepted.

Mentioning that the murder rate going up along with the population doesn’t mean I condone murder. That is just a distraction used to keep people from looking at the numbers factually rather than emotionally.

I Don’t think I’m manipulating the data or taking it out of context, but you be the judge of that. Also, I will be the first to acknowledge that crime statistics are not driven by a single factor, it’s more complex. But these numbers at least disprove the lies continually spread to scare people into believing that a permit program keeps criminals from carrying guns. Or that somehow, attending a state-mandated concealed carry course keeps gun owners from losing their minds and start blasting away at anyone they see.

Now, I generally agree with author Matthew Maruster on the overall point, though I don’t think you can just exempt 2019 through 2021 and argue that homicides wouldn’t have gone up without the riots.

I tend to think that they wouldn’t have, mind you, but it’s difficult to extrapolate what exactly would have happened because, as he notes, this is a complex topic.

But the look at raw numbers is important.

A lot of folks look at the total number of homicides and figure the problem is getting worse without recognizing the increase in the population actually means there’s less of an issue. While the ideal number of homicides is zero, the truth is that we’re not likely to ever achieve that.

An increase in population that outpaces the increase in homicides, though, means the homicide rate is decreasing, which is how we compare things to account for differences in things like population.

After all, a town of 100 people that has two murders in a year actually has more of a problem than Los Angeles’s 382 homicides in 2022.

But what does this have to do with permitless carry? Well, it means that the problem isn’t what people say, and I think that as we get more data outside of things like riots and pandemics, we’ll start to see things like a lower homicide rate, particularly in states that adopt permitless carry.

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