Texas Legislature would save over 200 lives per year by adopting “Constitutional Carry”

Texas Legislature would save over 200 lives per year by adopting “Constitutional Carry”

Image: The Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the United States Constitution, became effective in 1791. The Second Amendment provides “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Austin, January 20 – A careful examination of the data reveals that Texas legislators would save over two hundred (200) lives per year in the Lone Star State by adopting and enacting “Constitutional Carry,” the unrestricted permit less right to carry a handgun. The data come from the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The analysis comes from the editorial staff of The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper.

Legislators, who oppose the adoption of Constitutional Carry in Texas during the 86th Legislative Session presently proceeding in Austin, should ask themselves whether their political position is worth the loss of hundreds of lives each year. It’s a particularly poignant question since they would merely follow the provisions of the Second Amendment within the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution, which the United States ratified to become effective in 1791. The Second Amendment provides:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

State Representative Jonathan Stickland (Republican of Bedford) filed House Bill 357, the Texas Constitutional Carry Act of 2018, on November 14, 2018. Representative Stickland’s bill would permit Texans who are 21 years old or older to carry a handgun with only certain minimal restrictions.

State Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford).

The “Constitutional Carry” concept has long had the moniker “Vermont Carry” because for many years during the twentieth century Vermont was the only state in the United States which permitted carrying a handgun without a permit. Thirteen (13) states now permit “Constitutional Carry” which the article will label the “Constitutional Carry States.”

36 states and the District of Columbia have some version of a permitting statute which enables residents under certain restrictions to carry a handgun. Texas adopted the concealed carry licensing concept in the 1995 Legislature after which Governor George W. Bush signed the measure into law. In 2016, Texas adopted an “open carry” provision which permits handgun permit holders to carry handguns openly.

California has the most restrictive gun laws in the United States. While some counties in California permit certain forms of concealed handgun carry, large geographic areas of the liberal state do not permit handguns at all.

The Golden Hammer examined murder rate data from the FBI. The last year with nearly complete data for murder rates on a state-by-state basis is 2015. The only state without verifiable murder rate data is Florida.

Murders, of course, include those of any sort, whether by gun, hands, feet, or some other means. The basic concept behind handgun ownership laws, besides the obvious Constitutional right, is that ownership and possession of a concealed handgun is a mechanism to deter crime and reduce violence. A highly-respected peer-reviewed study of the impact of concealed weapons on state murder rates in Applied Economics Letters concluded that concealed weapons are a strong deterrent which reduce murder rates. (Please see Mark Gius, “An Examination of the Effects of Concealed Weapons Laws and Assault Weapons Bans on State–Level Murder Rates,” Applied Economics Letters, Nov. 26, 2013.)

Not willing to accept the conclusions of others, this newspaper conducted an analysis of the FBI’s murder rate data in the United States, which does, in fact, lead to the conclusion that “Constitutional Carry” states generally have lower murder rates per 100,000 population than those states which only have permitted handgun possession laws. California, with its restrictive gun laws, has a higher murder rate than both categories.

Not willing to accept the conclusions of others, this newspaper conducted an analysis of the FBI’s murder rate data in the United States, which does, in fact, lead to the conclusion that “Constitutional Carry” states generally have lower murder rates per 100,000 population than those states which only have permitted handgun possession laws. California, with its restrictive gun laws, has a higher murder rate than both categories.

Before jumping into the data for all states, it is important to note that Texas had 2,022 murders in 1994, the year before enactment of the concealed handgun permit law. That amounted to a rate of approximately eleven (11) murders per 100,000 population, since the population in Texas in 1994 was 18,378,000, according to the United States Census Bureau. Amazingly, in 2018, the total number of murders in Texas has actually declined to 1,412, even though the population has increased to 29,104,064.

In the years since Texas adopted the concealed handgun permit statute, the murder rate has declined from 11 to 4.7 per 100,000 population.

Here is the 2015 data state-by-state with “Constitutional Carry” states segregated from those states which only have permitted hand carry segregated from California (which, of course, doesn’t fit the rest of the Nation.)

California with its restrictive gun laws has a murder rate of 4.8 per 100,000 population, which is substantially higher than both the “Constitutional Carry” states and those states which have handgun permits.

More than 91% of licensed Texas peace officers have responded to polling that they support the right of vast majority of citizens to carry handguns.

If Texas adopted Constitutional Carry and followed the national average for those jurisdictions which already have it and reduced its murder rate to 3.79 per 100,000 population, in 2019 alone, the Lone Star State would save two hundred and sixty-four (264) people from murders. ((4.7 – 3.79 = 0.91) x 29,104,064/100,000.) If that’s not a reason to adopt conservative reform legislation, then nothing is.

If Texas adopted Constitutional Carry and followed the national average for those jurisdictions which already have it and reduced its murder rate to 3.79 per 100,000 population, in 2019 alone, the Lone Star State would save two hundred and sixty-four (264) people from murders. ((4.7 – 3.79 = 0.91) x 29,104,064/100,000.) If that’s not a reason to adopt conservative reform legislation, then nothing is.

 

 

 

 

 

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