(CCW – Concealed Carry Weapon; the acronym is used to describe the act of carrying a concealed firearm for the purpose of self defense)
Excerpts from: http://www.ncpa.org/ba/ba324/ba324.html
…Because of its large geographic size and population and electoral importance, Texas’ experience with concealed carry has come under sustained attack. Before passage, opponents predicted a decline in public safety, with minor incidents escalating into killings as the concealed carry law placed more guns in irresponsible hands…
In 1998 and again in 1999, the Violence Policy Center, a research organization opposed to concealed carry, released reports highlighting the numbers of Texas’ concealed carry licensees who have been arrested since the law went into effect. Using Texas Department of Public Safety records, the center pointed out that Texas licensees had been arrested for nearly two crimes a day through 1998 – with more than one arrest each month for a violent crime.
In isolation these numbers paint a troubling picture. However, the reports are misleading for several reasons. First, they do not separate crimes that involve concealed weapons from those that don’t. In addition, they ignore the fact that more than 55 percent of licensees arrested for violent crimes are cleared of the crimes for which they are arrested. Most tellingly, when the arrest rates of Texas’ concealed carry holders are compared with those of the general population, licensees are found to be more law-abiding than the average person…
…One must be at least 21 years of age, submit a photo and fingerprints for a background check, pay a $140 fee and take ten to fourteen hours of coursework. In addition, applicants must pass both a written test covering laws pertaining to deadly force and gun safety and a shooting accuracy test. Even with all of these hurdles, more than 200,000 Texans have received concealed carry permits…
In the year 2000:
19,991,434 – total population of Texas
1,041,179 – total arrests in Texas (excluding traffic)
From Jan.1996 – Aug.2001: (68 months)
5,314 – total arrests of CCW holders
Since we do not have individual yearly data, we can come to an approximate number of arrests per year by dividing the total number by 68 and than multiplying it by 12 to get an annual average. From this we can surmise that the total number of arrests among CCW holders in 2000 was about 938.
In Texas, for the year 2000:
-the total arrest rate was 5.2% (1,041,179 arrests divided by population of Texas; 19,991,434)
-the arrest rate of CCW holders was less than 0.5% (938 CCW holders arrested divided by total number of CCW holders; 200,000)
-CCW holders were responsible for less than 0.1% of the total arrests
This data shows that an armed population does not pose any greater threat than an unarmed one. In fact, this data shows that there is a correlation of a decreased arrest rate among armed individuals.
Just something to think about.