It’s always the same predictions of doom and bloodshed from gun-control activists. They warn us of pending disaster if Pennsylvania becomes the 22nd state to adopt so-called constitutional carry rules that would allow law-abiding adults who legally own a handgun to conceal-carry it without a permit. Thirty-four states, including Pennsylvania, already allow open carry without a permit.
We heard the same predictions when states first adopted right-to-carry laws, which now exist in 43 states. None of the dire predictions came true after states adopted Constitutional carry. Not even one of these states has seen the need to reverse the laws. Indeed, none have even held a legislative hearing, let alone a vote, on undoing these laws.
The fact remains, business and private property owners still have the right to exclude handguns. Prohibitions on carrying in sensitive places and regarding the misuse of guns are unchanged. Pennsylvanians are still required to pass a background check to buy a handgun.
To make matters worse, last year police in Philly, Montgomery, Allegheny, and at least five Pennsylvania other counties stopped issuing concealed handgun permits during coronavirus outbreak. And some were still slow to issue permits at the beginning of this year.
More importantly, the people who benefit from carrying are those who are the most likely victims of violent crime, overwhelmingly who live in high crime urban areas. They are also the ones who are most sensitive to all the fees required to get a permit. In Illinois, wealthy white males who live in the suburbs are overwhelmingly the ones who get permits. In Indiana, there are many more permits issued to people living in urban, heavily minority zip codes.
Today, there are over 21.5 million concealed handgun permit holders nationwide. Permit holders nationwide are incredibly law-abiding. Police officers are extremely rarely convicted of firearms-related violations, but it still happens at a rate twelve times more often than for permit holders. In the 19 states with comprehensive permit revocation data, the average revocation rate is one-tenth of one percent. Usually, permit revocations occur because someone moved or died or forgot to bring their permit while carrying.