Fact Check

Fact Check: The Truth About Constitutional Carry Bans and Gun Crime Rates


Lawmakers in 27 states across the country have enshrined the Second Amendment for citizens, allowing law-abiding Americans to carry firearms as they see fit.

If one listens to the rhetoric from the anti-gun left, one might mistakenly believe there is an epidemic of gun crime in these states endorsed by firearm advocates and Republican lawmakers.

However, areas that trust their populations to legally and responsibly carry firearms have seen reductions in crime in recent years.

This is an inconvenient fact for those whose ultimate goal is to ban the sale, possession and use of firearms. But Americans have a God-given right to protect themselves, their property and others, and law-abiding armed citizens — “good guys with guns” — have saved lives.

A look at the facts shows that constitutional carry laws create safer communities, despite claims to the contrary.

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The Anti-Gun Lobby Rails Against Constitutional Carry Laws

In May 2022, the far-left Center for American Progress claimed governors who ease firearm restrictions are endangering communities.

After Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp made his state the 25th to allow citizens to carry guns without a permit, CAP called the constitutional carry movement “a massive step back for public safety and responsible gun ownership.”

The anti-gun group claimed that after Arizona adopted permitless carry in 2010, there was a “24 percent increase in the probability that an individual involved in a violent crime would be fatally shot.”

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CAP did not say who was more likely to be shot in such a scenario. Of course, one of the purposes of constitutional carry laws is to give people who would otherwise have been unarmed and vulnerable the ability to defend themselves.

That means that if a person who was in the process of committing a violent crime was shot by a would-be victim, then the law actually worked as intended.

The anti-gun group Everytown made the following statement while complaining about such laws:

“In many states, people convicted of certain violent crimes and weapons offenses are disqualified from getting a concealed carry permit. But under permitless carry, these convicted criminals would be legally allowed to carry hidden guns on city streets.”

This ignores the fact that criminals do not follow the law — that’s what makes them criminals. These people will menace society whether permitted or not.

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Restrictions on carrying firearms simply take away the best defense of those who do follow the law.

The Truth About Constitutional Carry Laws and Public Safety

Ohio, one of the states that has embraced Second Amendment rights in recent years, enacted its permitless carry law in June 2022.

Despite the warnings from CAP and Everytown that the law would make communities less safe, Ohioans did not see a corresponding spike in violent crime.

In fact, “six of Ohio’s eight largest cities saw less gun crime after the state’s ‘constitutional carry’ law took effect,” the Ohio attorney general’s office announced in a news release last month.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a constitutional carry law last spring. Since the law took effect in July, two of the state’s biggest cities have seen reductions in homicides.

Miami recorded 31 murders in 2023 compared to 49 the year before. The city also saw a 34 percent decrease in non-fatal shootings.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville saw the number of murders drop from 167 in 2022 to 158 in 2023.

The reduction in violent crime was not isolated to Ohio and Florida, as White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre noted in October.

“Today, the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] released a new report showing that the firearm homicide rate went down in 2022,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “This is meaningful progress for the American people: gun homicides are declining for the first time since sharply increasing from 2019 to 2020.”

Of course, while taking a victory lap on behalf of the Biden administration, Jean-Pierre left out a simple fact.

She might not have known that she was undercutting her boss’ gun control agenda, but since 2019, more and more states have enacted laws allowing more people to carry firearms.

Jean-Pierre credited Biden with the reduction in gun deaths, claiming the president’s “historic actions to address our nation’s gun violence epidemic are helping save lives.”

Any number of factors could contribute to decreases in gun deaths. But what the Biden administration won’t acknowledge is that more than half the states in the country now encourage citizens to arm themselves.

More Guns in the Hands of Law-Abiding Citizens Make Americans Safer

The anti-gun zealots sounded the alarm when governors started signing constitutional carry bills, warning that allowing ordinary people to arm themselves in public would turn communities into the Wild West. Americans were supposed to believe that a bullet waited for them around every corner.

But those doomsday predictions failed to materialize.

A simple look at the facts shows that violent crime rates have fallen in recent years — years in which more states embraced gun rights than ever before.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.