While advocates of relaxed concealed carry laws promise the public protection from crime, Texas Department of Public Safety data details the day-to-day, real-world effect of such laws: they arm criminals and threaten public safety. All too often, concealed carry license holders don’t stop crimes, but commit them.
Yet, exactly how many and what types of crimes are being committed is becoming harder to ascertain. Texas, which allows information about the arrests of the concealed handgun license holders to be analyzed by the public, has taken the first step toward restricting information with the enactment of legislation, which took effect September 2001, restricting information posted on the Department of Public Safety’s web site. Other states do not provide any information at all about the number and types of crimes committed by their concealed carry licensees. Allowing the public full access to this information on concealed carry holders is essential to a fair examination of the concealed carry licensing system.
In light of the findings of this study, and previous studies conducted by the Violence Policy Center of the Texas as well as Florida concealed carry laws, the VPC strongly recommends against the adoption of concealed carry licensing in any additional states and urges states that have passed such laws to repeal them.