Go West, Young Man, and Get a Concealed Carry Permit

Percentage of the population with a concealed carry permit in 2019. Source: Virginia Public Access Project

The farther west in Virginia you go, the more likely it is that the guy standing next to you carries a concealed-carry permit. What would really be interesting is to see the correlation between the percentage of concealed permits and number of crimes committed with firearms.

— JAB

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11 responses to “Go West, Young Man, and Get a Concealed Carry Permit

  1. Guy? Not just men, Jimbo.

    I find it fascinating that the Second Amendment supporters accept this government application and review process and would be interested in hearing why a similar process would be unacceptable for all purchases, for people seeking to have a weapon at all or keep it on their person, concealed or open. For the sake of a good discussion, isn’t this already a form of registration? What is the distinction, if any?

  2. Jim,
    I think John Lott has done a lot of this research. As I recall, it involved concealed carry permits and crimes in adjacent counties in Ohio and Indiana, and there was a difference in the law that granted such permits from county to county. I think one of his books was titled More Guns, Less Crime when he was at UChicago.

  3. So I went and looked for it. Here is one of the most succinct summaries of Lott’s work by Lott himself. Eye opening.

    https://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html

  4. UGH OH …. correlation is not causation. Here in VA, SW is a very different place than Eastern and North eastern VA.

    • >>correlation is not causation.

      I think this might be too simplistic a statement. This is true in general, until the correlation coefficient gets high enough that other factors don’t explain the result. If the correlation coefficient is, say, .32, then we probably can’t say anything too much about cause. On the other hand, when comparing coefficients of correlation, it doesn’t take a coefficient to much higher before meaningful cause must be considered.

  5. Virginia communities near D.C., where many are active or formerly active in national security, high-rank military, security companies, etc. are among the heaviest armed in the United States in terms of number of individuals with firearms. I’ve heard that from a number of sources all over the political spectrum. And since one rarely sees individuals carrying arms openly on the sidewalks and streets, I conclude many of them have concealed carry permits.

    A few years ago, a Fairfax County supervisor (D) told me he toured a local building where a national security agency was housed. He estimated at least 2/3 of the employees were armed at work.

    But given the large population in these areas, the percentages are likely lower as suggested by the data.

  6. Your analysis is likely to show more crime, given research on right to carry laws. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jels.12219

    It’s also likely to show more people dying from firearms, generally their own, as gun ownership is correlated with increased suicide success.

  7. “I find it fascinating that the Second Amendment supporters accept this government application and review process and would be interested in hearing why a similar process would be unacceptable for all purchases, for people seeking to have a weapon at all or keep it on their person, concealed or open. For the sake of a good discussion, isn’t this already a form of registration? What is the distinction, if any?

    A/ Many people do NOT find it acceptable that their must be a review process to conceal carry.
    B/ I think there is a rather HUGE distinction between a review process to conceal carry and a review process to own a firearm at all.
    C/ It is NOT a registration process since one can( and I know people like this) who have a permit and no handgun. And registration assumes an accessible database which does not exist for concealed carry persons.

  8. I don’t know that Lott has done anything in southwestern Virginia. My comment was more general in nature.

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