In the wake of the passage of literally any law that benefits gun owners, we’re inundated with cries about how the law in question will make people less safe. There’s all kinds of rhetoric about turning our cities into the Old West or how there will be “blood in the streets.”
Constitutional carry tends to trigger the worst of it.
Yet we’ve seen that in Ohio, their constitutional carry law didn’t seem to do any such thing.
But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that any state can exist in isolation when it comes to crime statistics. That’s because there’s a lot more going on than just whether people have guns or not.
So that’s why it’s interesting to see that it didn’t just happen in Ohio.
Since the legalization of constitutional carry in July 2023, Florida’s biggest cities saw a significant decrease in violent crimes, including shootings. In Jacksonville, murders and homicides dropped 6 percent in 2023 from the previous year.
The real record-breaking reduction in homicides was recorded in Miami. In 2022, the municipality recorded 49 homicides. By 2023, that number was down to 31, the fewest number of killings ever recorded in the Magic City. Miami also reported a 34 percent drop, from 151 to 100, in non-fatal shootings and 124 fewer “non-contact” shootings than in 2022. The change mirrors a national trend in less violent crime in 2023.
Florida’s constitutional carry law may not be the sole reason for those numbers, but this is the exact opposite of what Democrats claimed would happen after the law passed. Indeed, it’s fair to suspect respecting citizens’ constitutional right to self-defense played a role in the crime decline. Good guys with guns can deter, prevent, and even stop crime. The legal use of firearms helps thwart an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year.
Author Jordan Boyd is correct that a single law may not be the sole reason for the reduction, which is a point I don’t think gets made enough by our side. After all, it’s tempting to ignore it because the other side sure as hell does whenever there’s a correlation with a law they like.
But let’s remember the underlying principle espouses by gun control advocates: More guns mean more crime.
They don’t differentiate about what kind of guns or who has them. They simply argue that more guns will inevitably lead to more crime.
Where this comes into play is that they argue that constitutional carry laws are, in fact, criminal carry laws, that they empower bad guys to carry firearms. Apparently, they weren’t carrying them before such laws passed because it was illegal or something.
Yet if they’re right, that more guns in more places invariably leads to more crime, then just where is it?
Time and time again, we see constitutional carry laws pass–and yes, I know that Florida’s is more of a permitless concealed carry law versus a true constitutional carry law because it does not permit open carry, but bear with me–and then the corresponding increase in homicides we’re told is coming never happen.
Florida and Ohio are really just two examples.
Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation, so we can’t definitively say that constitutional carry is why the homicide rate dropped. I strongly suspect it is, but I can’t definitively prove that based on what we see here.
But causation should cause correlation, and we don’t see that in any way, shape, or form. Not in Florida, not in Ohio, nor in any other state that’s passed such a law.
Constitutional carry, if nothing else, is a non-issue at worst. At best, it’s a way to reduce violent crime and keep the public safe.
That alone justifies such laws.