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Strong Standards for Carrying Concealed Guns in Public

Strong Standards for Carrying Concealed Guns in Public

What is the problem?

Carrying guns in public is a tremendous responsibility. States should set strong minimum standards for carrying concealed guns in public to ensure that people who are too dangerous or irresponsible to carry guns in our communities are blocked from doing so.

This can include requiring that a person pass a background check, get a concealed carry permit, and undergo safety training that includes live-fire experience. States can also allow law enforcement to block people who pose a danger to the public from carrying concealed handguns in public. States also decide which out-of-staters may carry concealed handguns within their borders—and they should not allow the carry of guns by people with permits from states with standards weaker than their own.


States that have weakened their firearm permitting system have experienced a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime rates.

Donohue J., Aneja A., and Weber K. “Right-To-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Control Analysis”. National Bureau of Economic Research. (2018).


People with at least one misdemeanor conviction were more than 7 times more likely than those without a criminal history to be charged with a new crime after buying a new handgun.

Wintemute G., Drake C., Beaumont J., Wright M., & Parham C. “Prior Misdemeanor Convictions as a Risk Factor for Later Violent and Firearm-Related Criminal Activity Among Authorized Purchasers of Handguns”. JAMA . (1998).


States where permit issuers had limited or no discretion in issuing concealed carry permits had handgun homicide rates that were 11 percent higher compared with states where law enforcement and permit issuers could exercise broad discretion in permitting.

Siegel M., et al. “Easiness of Legal Access to Concealed Firearm Permits and Homicide Rates in the United States”. American Journal of Public Health. (2017).

Myth & Fact


More guns equals less crime.


This claim is unsubstantiated by any legitimate evidence. In fact, scientific research—and basic common sense—show the opposite is true: more guns make us less safe. A growing body of research shows that when it is easier for people to carry guns in public, violent crime rates go up. When states passed laws allowing concealed carry for the first time or limiting law enforcement discretion in issuing carry permits, violent crime rates rose by 13 to 15%. And when Arizona repealed its concealed carry permit requirement entirely in 2010—allowing people over the age of 21 to carry concealed guns in public without a permit—the result was an 11% increase the rate of gun injuries and deaths and a 24% increase in the likelihood that a person involved in a violent crime would be shot and killed.

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Strong Standards for Carrying Concealed Guns in Public