charles-d-phillipsResearchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health say there’s no data to back up the claim that issuing more permits to carry concealed handguns will lower crime rates. Law Shield members will naturally disagree with this finding because we’re concerned about crime affecting us personally, and not necessarily about generalized trends.

“The idea that concealed handguns lead to less crime is at the center of much firearms legislation, but the science behind that conclusion has been murky,” says Charles D. Phillips, a Professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health.

“The results have been so inconclusive that the National Academy of Sciences in 2004 called for a new approaches to studying the issue, which is what we’ve done with this research.”

Previous studies have looked primarily at crime rates before and after the passage of concealed carry legislation. Phillips’ team used county level data to analyze the relationship between changes in crime rates and concealed carry licensing, while controlling for differences among the four study states and changes in crime rates simply related to the passage of time. They analyzed data from more than 500 counties in four states: Texas, Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Phillips’ study found no statistically significant correlation between changes in concealed carry licensing and crime rates, including the rates of violent personal crime such as the murder rate and robbery.

Sorry, but we are skeptical of any academic finding that runs counter to our personal experience and the experience of our members. A saying Mark Twain popularized is worth recalling here: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”