Gun Control Advocates Make up Facts about Concealed Handgun Laws
People walking the streets armed with guns must be dangerous, right? The Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center keep claiming that even those individuals who have legally obtained permits to carry concealed handguns are extremely dangerous. With millions of Americans already having been issued such permits from the various states, this is an important issue.
The gun control organizations have frequently made these claims in the press. The Associated Press articles by Erik Schelzig and by Jim Abrams have given extensive, uncritical coverage. Members of the gun control organizations have made these claims unchallenged on such places as Fox News and on the Huffington Post. But the gun control advocates inaccurately describe many shooting cases, choosing to ignore that the majority of incidents involve people properly defending themselves.
Over the past three years, the number of active permit holders in the United States has gone from about 5 million to more than 6.2 million today. The numbers issued by the state regulatory agencies show time after time that these permit holders abide by the law.
Take Florida, which currently has the most concealed handgun permit holders in the country and is one of the two most populous states with right-to-carry laws. Between Oct. 1, 1987, and May 31 this year, permits had been issued to 1.8 million people. On average, the permits had been held for quite a long time, well over 10 years. For all those individuals across the more than 22 years of legal carry, there were only 167 cases where the permit was revoked for a firearms related violation, or about 0.01 percent of permit holders. While the state doesn’t provide a precise breakdown of the reason for those revocations, the vast majority were apparently for people who accidentally carried their concealed handgun into a gun-free zone, such as an airport or school.
Throughout the past 30 months, beginning January 2008, only three additional permit holders have had their permit revoked for a firearms-related violation. With more than 739,000 active permit holders, that is an annual revocation rate of 0.00017 percent.
In sharp contrast, the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center portray Florida as Ground Zero for problems with concealed handgun permit holders. They boldly assert that 17 Florida permit holders have “killed” people with their guns over the past three years and that this one state by itself accounts for 17 of the 96 “killer” permit holders nationwide. The other 79 cases are scattered across 26 other states, with no other state accounting for more than 10 cases. Florida is also said to account for 2 of the 7 cases where permit holders are said to have killed law enforcement officers.