Concealed carry is the practice of wearing a weapon that is not in plain sight. The concern is that if there is a confrontation between two individuals, it will not escalate if each party knows that the other is carrying a lethal weapon. The counter-argument is that if a weapon is in plain site in an environment where few people wear weapons, then that person may be singled out for an attack.
Most states of the USA allow citizens to carry concealed weapons (usually a handgun), providing they have a legal permit to do so. This concealed weapon permit is abbreviated as a CWL, CCL, CWP, or CCP depending on the state. In some states, people who do not have a concealed carry permit must carry their weapons in a visible manner.
States without concealed carry statutes, such as (as of May 2017) Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia, allow gun owners to carry weapons either concealed or open with no permit.
It was reported in May 2017, that the number of people in the U.S. obtaining concealed carry permits was increasing quickly, with nearly 16 million people having permits in May 2017 (this number did not include people in states where no permit is necessary to carry a gun). It was also reported that as the number of concealed carry permits rose by 215% between 2007 and 2015, the murder rate decreased by 14%.
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), police officers have a higher gun crime conviction rate than concealed carry permit holders. Another CPRC study found that people with concealed carry permits commit very little crime, both violent and nonviolent compared to the general populations in various states, and when examined alone, concealed carry permit holders mainly committed nonviolent crimes in the cases where they did happen to commit crimes.
Several studies have found that citizens with concealed carry permits are less likely to commit violent crimes than the general public.
- Hawins, Awr (May 22, 2017). Report: Concealed Carry Witnesses Largest One-Year Surge Ever. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- Hawkins, Awr (May 24, 2017). Concealed Carry Up 215%, Murder Rate Down 14%. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
- Hawkins, Awr (May 27, 2017). Lott: Police Commit More Gun Crimes Than Concealed Carry Permit Holders. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- John R. Lott Jr. (July 24, 2017). Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2017. Crime Prevention Research Center. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
- Hawkins, Awr (July 24, 2017). Study: Concealed Permit Holders Among the Most Law-Abiding of Law-Abiding Citizens. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
- Adelmann, Bob (February 14, 2019). More Guns, Less Crime: Concealed-carry Permit Holders More Law-abiding Than Police. The New American. Retrieved February 14, 2019.