For Release: Friday, March 19, 1999
Offenses Include Murder, Rape, Kidnapping, Weapon Crimes, Drunk Driving, and Domestic Violence
A new study by the Violence Policy Center shows that Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested 2,080 times since a law making the permits easier to obtain went into effect an average of nearly two arrests every day during that time. The entire analysis, based on data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, is embargoed until 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 21, 1999.
Crimes for which license holders were arrested include:
- 15 charges of murder or attempted murder
- 6 charges of kidnapping or false imprisonment
- 28 charges of rape or sexual assault
- 103 charges of assault or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- 442 charges of driving while intoxicated
- 30 charges of indecency with children
- 140 drug-related charges
- 70 charges of sexual misconduct
“When the gun lobby pushed this law through, they promised it would not arm the bad guys. They now owe us over 2,000 explanations,” said VPC Health Policy Analyst Susan Glick, MHS, the study’s author. “If legislators had realized how many murderers and sex offenders would carry concealed handguns, this law would never have passed.”
The study, entitled License to Kill, and Kidnap, and Rape, and Drive Drunk…, also found that:
- Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for more than one serious violent crime per month since the law went into effect, including: murder, kidnapping, and rape.
- Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for one weapon-related offense every other day since the law went into effect.
- Family violence was identified in more than one in 20 incidents involving concealed handgun license holders.
- Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for nearly three drunk driving offenses per week since the law went into effect.
In addition to statistical information, the VPC’s report provides the details of several heinous crimes committed by license holders. For example, license-holder Jack Reynolds of Dallas was convicted of murder in January 1999 for shooting and killing his next-door neighbor, Julian Rioz, during a party at Reynolds’ house. Witnesses said Reynolds was known for shooting his gun in the air for no reason. Reynolds testified at his trial that he was too drunk and drugged to remember the shooting, and police said he had spent his pension check on beer and drugs for the party.
“Jack Reynolds was drunk, stoned, recklessï¿½and licensed to carry a hidden handgun,” Glick said. “All too often, concealed handgun license holders don’t stop crimes, they commit them. This is proof positive of the dangers of concealed handgun laws.”