Illinois is the 50th state in the U.S. to allow concealed weapons, and many believe that the new legislation has resulted in a decrease in crime rates. Concealed carry permits were numbered at 83,183 applications as of July 29th, and it’s believed that the number will reach to 100,000 Illinois citizens by the end of this year. Since last year, robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined by 20 percent. Reports of burglary theft is down by 20 percent, and vehicle theft is down by 26 percent. In the first quarter of 2014, the homicide rate was at a 56-year low. With more citizens packing, it appears that there is a correlation between these statistics.
Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association states, â€œIt isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect.â€ He continued, â€œThe police department hasn’t changed a single tactic â€” they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course â€” and yet you have these incredible numbers.â€
Police Force or Legalization of Concealed Weapons?
While Pearson believes that it’s the legalization of concealed weapons, the Chicago Police Department credits the efforts of the police force for the lowered rates. Garry F. McCarthy, Police Superintendent, noted that the department has confiscated more than 1,300 illegal guns between January and March of this year. He believes that â€œintelligent policing strategiesâ€ and improved training has helped immensely.
No matter the reason, crime rates have decreased. Despite the worries of those who advocate for gun control, the legalization of concealed weapons has, at the very least, not created more crime. President of Crime Prevention Research Center based in Swarthmore Pennsylvania says, â€œThere’s a lot of academic research that’s been done on this, and if you look at the peer-reviewed studies, the bottom line is a large majority find a benefit of concealed carry on crime rates â€” and, at worst, there’s no cost.â€ He continues, â€œYou can deter criminals with longer prison sentences and penalties, but arming people with the right to defend themselves with a gun is also a deterrence.â€
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