Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

No Fire, Not Even Smoke, In Violence Policy Center`s Whine About Right To Carry

Thursday, July 29, 1999

"Concealed Carry: The Criminal`s Companion" was an attempt, by a tiny anti-gun group that calls itself the Violence Policy Center (VPC), to derail the right-to-carry movement currently sweeping across the United States. It sought to discourage passage of statewide Right to Carry (RTC)laws by disparaging Florida`s model carry law, in effect since 1987.

The success of RTC laws -- Florida`s in particular -- was well known to legislators and the general public. According to the most recent data available from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports at the time of the VPC attack, states with RTC laws had significantly lower overall violent and firearm-related violent crime per capita rates than other states:

Violent crime rate -- 22% lower Robbery rate -- 36% lower
Firearm violent crime rate -- 29% lower Firearm robbery rate -- 38% lower
Homicide rate -- 31% lower Aggravated assault rate -- 14% lower
Firearm homicide rate -- 38% lower Firearm aggravated assault rate-- 19% lower
Handgun homicide rate -- 41% lower

Florida`s homicide and handgun homicide rates had dropped 22% and29% since adopting RTC in 1987, even as national rates had risen 15% and 50%. Anti-gun groups often try to malign Florida`s RTC law by noting that its total violent crime rate has increased since the law took effect, but an examination of violent crime data only supported RTC advocates` arguments -- since 1987, Florida`s violent crime rate had risen less (17.7%) than the U.S. as a whole (22.3%), and only 30% of Florida`s violent crimes involved firearms.

Florida`s law relates only to the legality of carrying firearms already lawfully possessed; it has nothing to do with facilitating the acquisition or ownership of firearms by anyone. Therefore, the VPC`s primary assertion -- that Florida`s carry law "puts guns into the hands of criminals" -- was preposterous on its face and only served to discredit the group.

VPC claimed that "criminals do apply for concealed carry licenses." But while criminals occasionally apply for licenses, Florida rejects their applications, just as banks regularly reject loan applications from persons with bad credit ratings.

Through Sept. 30, 1995, Florida had rejected the carry license applications of 702 persons with criminal records. Surprisingly, the VPC even underscored this fact, by including in its "study" a long list of persons alleged to have criminal records who, after their carry license applications were rejected, wanted their rejections reconsidered.

As required by the law, Florida`s licensing division quickly revokes licenses mistakenly issued to disqualified individuals. Florida had revoked 188 licenses mistakenly issued to persons with criminal records. Therefore, the VPC`s statement, that persons with criminal records occasionally receive licenses, was but half the story.

Florida`s Secretary of State, Sandra B. Mortham rejected the VPC`s allegations, blaming them on the group`s "zeal to attack the National Rifle Association." To "set the record straight," Secretary Mortham stated that "As of November 30, 1995, the Department had denied 723 applications due to criminal history. The fact that these 723 individuals did not receive a license clearly indicates that the process is working." Secretary Mortham added, "the statistics show the majority of concealed weapon or firearm licensees are honest, law-abiding citizens exercising their right to be armed for the purpose of lawful self-defense." (Letter to the St. Petersburg Times, January 11, 1996.)

The overwhelming majority of license applicants and those to whom licenses had been issued were law-abiding citizens. From the law`s inception, through Sept. 30, 1995, of 310,892 applications received, only 1,256 -- 0.4% -- had been rejected for reasons of criminal histories. Further, citizens to whom carry licenses had been issued had proven themselves to be more law-abiding than the public generally. Of 303,213 licenses issued, only 52 -- 0.017% -- had been revoked because license holders committed firearm-related crimes, including those occurring in situations in which a carry license would not have been required to have a gun present. John Russi, of Florida`s Division of Licensing, said of the 52 disqualified licensees, "When you compare that to the number of licenses that were issued, that`s very small." In a official correspondence to the governor, the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, James T. Moore, said, "From a law enforcement perspective, the licensing process has not resulted in problems in the community from people arming themselves with concealed weapons. The strict provisions of 790.06, Florida Statutes, preclude the licensing of convicted felons, etc., thus allowing the permitting of law abiding citizens who do not routinely commit crimes or otherwise violate the law."

The VPC has since continued its practice of releasing flawed "studies," but with similarly mixed results. In 1997, the group attacked NRA`s Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program only to be lambasted in newspapers normally supportive of severe restrictions on the right to arms. In 1998, the group attacked Texas` successful firearm carrying law, only to be similarly rebuked by state officials. The group`s tactics come as no surprise, given the ethics of its leader, Josh Sugarmann. In 1988, Sugarmann authored "Assault Weapons in America," a primer on that issue for anti-gun activists, which suggested: "[T]he issue of handgun restriction remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public. . . . Assault weapons . . . are a new topic. The weapons` menacing looks, coupled with the public`s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."

IN THIS ARTICLE
Right-To-Carry
TRENDING NOW
California: City of San Diego Considers Gun Control Ordinance

Friday, July 12, 2019

California: City of San Diego Considers Gun Control Ordinance

San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott has asked the City Council to consider a draft ordinance that would require mandatory locked storage of firearms in the home and would propose a conflicting law regarding the reporting of ...

“Fact Checker:” Joe Biden’s “Gun Ban” Not a Gun Ban Because Some Guns Wouldn’t Be Banned

News  

Monday, July 15, 2019

“Fact Checker:” Joe Biden’s “Gun Ban” Not a Gun Ban Because Some Guns Wouldn’t Be Banned

Facebook has teamed up with what it calls “third-party fact-checkers” to punish users of its platform that post information embarrassing or inconvenient to this outlook. Yet like most sources of what passes as “news” or ...

California: Injunction Request to be Filed in Lawsuit Challenging California Ammo Law

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

California: Injunction Request to be Filed in Lawsuit Challenging California Ammo Law

CRPA, with the support of NRA, challenged the ammunition background check law in court months ago with the filing of the Rhode v. Becerra case. The lead plaintiff in the case is Olympic gold medalist shooter ...

Vox Wants to Take Your Guns

News  

Monday, July 8, 2019

Vox Wants to Take Your Guns

A conspiracy relies on secrecy. Some are, perhaps, never uncovered. Others are exposed by the conspirators themselves, who cannot help but share the details whether from arrogance or anxiousness. For years, law-abiding gun owners and ...

Recent Poll Shows Gun Control Not as Popular as Some Would Like to Believe

News  

Monday, July 8, 2019

Recent Poll Shows Gun Control Not as Popular as Some Would Like to Believe

A recent Morning Consult/POLITICO poll, conducted immediately prior to the recent  Democratic debates and gathering responses from 1,991 registered voters, asked about views toward the candidates, issues of potential importance in the election, voting intention, and ...

New Zealand Experience Further Proves Registration Facilitates Confiscations

News  

Monday, July 8, 2019

New Zealand Experience Further Proves Registration Facilitates Confiscations

Firearms registration facilitates firearms confiscation. This fact has been demonstrated in recent weeks, as the New Zealand authorities have lamented that the country does not have a firearms registry to assist them in their gun confiscation efforts.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Hollywood Fantasy v. Reality on Firearm Suppressors

News  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Hollywood Fantasy v. Reality on Firearm Suppressors

It’s no secret that Hollywood has a very loose relationship with reality.  The movie industry, after all, is based on fantasy and escapism, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  If someone wants to forget ...

California: Legislature Breaks for Summer Recess

Sunday, July 14, 2019

California: Legislature Breaks for Summer Recess

The California Legislature has recessed for the summer and will return August 12 from the break. Last week, the following actions were taken by the Senate Public Safety Committee, Senate Natural Resources, and both the Senate ...

Presidential Pretender Who Campaigned on Gun Control First to Call It Quits

News  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Presidential Pretender Who Campaigned on Gun Control First to Call It Quits

On Monday, Eric Swalwell became the first of the many pretenders for the Democrat presidential nomination to bow (or perhaps slink) out of the race. The U.S. Congressman from California’s 15th District had tried to distinguish himself from ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.