• RTC permit-holders are more law-abiding than the rest of the public. For example, Florida, which has issued more carry permits than any state has issued 1.36 million permits, but revoked only 165 (0.01%) due to gun crimes by permit-holders.
Background: Before 1987, there were 10 RTC states. Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington had “shall issue” permit laws. Alabama and Connecticut had fairly-administered discretionary-issue systems. Georgia’s “shall issue” law was interpreted as discretionary in some jurisdictions. Vermont allowed carrying without a permit. Other states had restrictively-administered discretionary-issue carry permit systems or prohibited carrying.
In 1987, Florida enacted a “shall issue” law that has become the model for other states. Anti-gun groups, politicians and news media people predicted vigilante justice and “Wild West” shootouts on every corner. But through 1992, Florida’s murder rate decreased 23%, while the U.S. rate rose 9%; thereafter, murder decreased both nationally and in Florida.8 Then-Florida Licensing Division Director, John Russi, noted, “Florida’s concealed weapon law has been very successful. All major law enforcement groups supported the original legislation....[S]ome of the opponents of concealed weapon legislation in 1987 now admit the program has not created the problems many predicted.”9 In a 1995 letter to state officials, Dept. of Law Enforcement Commissioner James T. Moore wrote, “From a law enforcement perspective, the licensing process has not resulted in problems.”