Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A REAL Social Experiment - Illinois Shall Issue

Gun control advocates have for decades said "MORE GUNS EQUALS MORE CRIME" but they have never truly been able to prove it. When the FBI crime stats came out recently, the pro gun adage "MORE GUNS EQUALS LESS CRIME" may appear to be correct. It is my belief and hypothesis that allowing people to carry a handgun concealed is not just a constitutional right but it is partly a way to help curb violent crime if not just a way to help those citizens who clear a background check, protect themselves from violent people.

Look the stats up for yourselves people!!! ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!!

It's been reported that since 1993 violent crime has seen a significant drop. During this time the original 1994 federal "assault weapons" ban had been in play so one might think that there is a correlation and that after the sunset of the ban in 2004 crime should have skyrocketed. It didn't. The truth is that violent crime continued to drop even long after the ban disappeared (and still is dropping) but the amount of "guns on the streets" has grown in a very big way. Basically, people have been buying guns like crazy and yet violent crime has gone down.

Another adage of the gun control crowd has been "IT'LL TURN INTO THE WILD WEST" anytime Shall Issue concealed carry or even open carry of firearms in public is discussed. Again the reality has consistently been the opposite. States like Ohio who resisted concealed or open carry of handguns all the way to the bitter end have found positive outcomes. However, some states in the Union still have what is referred to as May Issue.

The Issues

To clarify, May Issue and Shall Issue may appear similar to the untrained reader or politically ignorant (no offense intended to anyone) but May Issue leaves the issuing party (usually the State Police or Sheriffs Department) a way out of issuing the permit/license to any otherwise "qualified" individual. There may also be some form of "necessity" (such as a documented near-death attack) that must be shown at the time of application; something that is usually very hard to prove. The political purpose of this allows the issuing party to prevent anyone they wish or the majority of normal people from carrying a handgun, a right that is done for self-defense. It also allows the state to have "something on the books" while denying people the right to carry by setting near impossible requirements. I should also note that many states have very expensive fees associated with the application. Illinois charges $150 for residents and $300 for non-residents. Maryland charges around $120 and doesn't include the fingerprinting which has to be done by a third party. These fees usually don't include the cost of training required to receive the certification needed for the application; training that could cost around $125. This usually puts carry permits out of the reach of those most likely in need of it, those living in high crime, low income areas but may also act a deterrent.

An example of May Issue is for a civilian to carry a handgun concealed, or open, in Maryland the civilian must complete training requirements and fingerprinting plus a background check, which is normal for any concealed carry permit issuing state. However, they must also show a documented clear and overwhelming necessity to receive a permit. This necessity could be a violent attack by an estranged ex-boyfriend that has been documented by the police and/or courts that resulted in a restraining order. Unfortunately, this means that an individual must survive the attack that they are otherwise trying to protect themselves from, with the carry permit before ever receiving the permit at all. Simply citing "self-defense and all other lawful purposes" will likely result in a denial, and a large loss of money, in a May Issue state.

Shall Issue states however, place the burden of denial on the issuing department. That department has a set amount of time (45 days in Ohio) to investigate the individual and return a verdict. If the department finds no prohibiting factors (usually anything that would prevent you from buying a gun in the first place) the department must issue the permit/license within that time frame. However, if you are determined to be prohibited then a denial will be issued.

The significant difference is that Shall Issue states MUST issue a permit if all requirements are fulfilled whereas May Issue can still deny and most do.

That said back to the original topic.

Again many people against carrying a handgun in public turn to the Wild West hypothesis attempting to illustrate gun fights on every corner and blood in the streets as a way to prevent carrying. By 2012, out of all the states, Illinois was only state to have NO ISSUE on the books. This means that no civilian could carry a handgun concealed in the state of Illinois. Its worth noting that open carry of a handgun is 'generally' illegal in the state but may have only be allowed for hunting; I'm not sure on that. In 2011, a case against the state of Illinois (Moore v. Madigan) resulted in a federal court ruling that says the ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional and they must have something on the books. It appears that in 2013 the state passed the Firearm Concealed Carry Act which turns Illinois into a Shall Issue state.

I feel that this is interesting and will become the greatest social experiment in the gun debate to date. We have a VERY left leaning state with an EXTREMELY high crime area (Chicago/Cook County) that could be considered a modern "Wild West" that is EXTREMELY anti-gun and has some of the most severe gun control in the country yet here they are being forced into Shall Issue concealed carry permits. I'm sure those in control of those areas are not happy in anyway (Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears to be doing everything he can to prevent it in Chicago) but it is my hypothesis that at the very LEAST certain types of violent crimes will begin to reduce over the next few years as a result of permits being issued starting in 2014.

The reason for this reduction will be partly due to fear being put into the criminal as the first cases of DGU's (Defensive Gun Uses) emerge. As well, obviously the more violent criminals that get killed during DGUs means less violent criminals on the streets.

In the end I don't expect a MASSIVE reduction in violent crime over the next 10 years simply because I believe that violent crime has no direct correlation with guns. The real issue is sociological and partly economical, but I do think the Shall Issue permits will help save peoples lives and will help to reduce violent crime.

States like Maryland can learn a lot from Illinois.

Update

I was reading on Ammoland and found an article that talks about the stats. It might be a good place for you to start looking if you want to verify stats.

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