The Truth About \"The Florida Model\"
The following information concerning carrying concealed firearms (CCW) statistics may be of interest to listeners of \"Tom Gresham\'s Gun Talk.\" These facts debunk the distortions and outright lies fostered by the gun-grabbers. It should be noted, that almost without exception, the media is equally as guilty in disseminating these distortions and falsehoods. These figures are compiled from the FBI\'s annual report on crime (Uniform Crime Reports), and from other law enforcement agencies.
\"Violent crime rates are highest overall in states with laws severely limiting or prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense\". (FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1992)
The total Violent Crime Rate is 26% higher in the restrictive states (798.3 per 100,000 pop.) than in the less restrictive states (631.6 per 100,000).
The Homicide Rate is 49% higher in the restrictive states (10.1 per 100,000) than in the states with less restrictive CCW laws (6.8 per 100,000).
The Robbery Rate is 58% higher in the restrictive states (289.7 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (183.1 per 100,000).
The Aggravated Assault Rate is 15% higher in the restrictive states (455.9 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (398.3 per 100,000).
Using FBI data (1992), homicide trends in the 17 states with less restrictive CCW laws compare favorably against national trends, and almost all CCW permittees are law-abiding.
Since adopting CCW (1987), Florida\'s homicide rate has fallen 21% while the U.S. rate has risen 12%. From start-up 10/1/87 - 2/28/94 (over 6 years) Florida issued 204,108 permits; only 17 (0.008%) were revoked because permittees later committed crimes (not necessarily violent) in which guns were present (not necessarily used).
Of 14,000 CCW licensees in Oregon, only 4 (0.03%) were convicted of the criminal (not necessarily violent) use or possession of a firearm.
Americans use firearms for self-defense more than 2.1 million times annually.
By contrast, there are about 579,000 violent crimes committed annually with firearms of all types. Seventy percent of violent crimes are committed by 7% of criminals, including repeat offenders, many of whom the courts place on probation after conviction, and felons that are paroled before serving their full time behind bars.
Two-thirds of self-protective firearms uses are with handguns.
99.9% of self-defense firearms uses do not result in fatal shootings of criminals, an important factor ignored in certain \"studies\" that are used to claim that guns are more often misused than used for self-protection.
Of incarcerated felons surveyed by the Department of Justice, 34% have been driven away, wounded, or captured by armed citizens; 40% have decided against committing crimes for fear their would-be victims were armed.
Other CCW Facts
With adoption of CCW by Louisiana in 1996, 30 states have CCW laws requiring the issuance of permits to carry concealed firearms for self-defense to citizens who meet fair and reasonable state standards. Vermont, which ranks near the bottom in violent crime rates year-in and year-out, allows firearms to be carried concealed without a permit.
In recent years NRA successfully fought for the adoption of favorable CCW laws now on the books in Florida (1987), Idaho (1990, amended 1991), Mississippi (1990), Montana (1991), and Oregon (1990). In recent legislative sessions, proposals for similar CCW laws have progressed in Alaska, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Anti-gun forces oppose CCW with a variety of arguments, ranging from deliberate misrepresentations of commonly available crime data to \"studies\" pretending to show that private ownership of firearms leads to death and injury rather than providing protection to the owner.
1. Firearms ownership opponents claim that \"violent crime\" went up in Florida since that state enacted CCW legislation in 1987, a misleading statement for multiple reasons:
Florida\'s homicide rate has declined 21% since adopting CCW in 1987.
No comparison of aggravated assault, robbery, and rape (99.3% of Florida violent crimes) beginning before 1988 is valid, according to the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement. In 1988, Florida changed its method of compiling crime statistics.
In Florida, as in the U.S., more than 70% of violent crimes do not involve guns. Violent crime rates, therefore, don\'t necessarily reflect violent gun-related crime trends. According to the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Reports (1992), nationwide firearms were used in the four violent crimes that make up the total \"Violent Crime\" category, as follows: Aggravated Assault (58% of volent crimes) -- firearms used in 25%; Robberies (35% of violent crimes) -- firearms used in 41%; Rapes (6% of violent crimes) -- firearms used in an estimated 5% - 10% (survey data); and Homicides (1% of violent crimes) -- firearms used in 68%.
In Florida: Aggravated Assaults (64% of violent crimes) -- firearms used in 25%; Robberies (30% of violent crimes) -- firearms used in 37%; Rapes (4% of violent crimes) -- firearms used in an estimated 5% - 10% (survey data); and Homicides (0.7% of violent crimes) -- firearms used in 61%.
2. Anti-gunners cite \"studies\" they claim show that firearms kept at home are \"43 times more likely\" to be used to kill family members than be used for self- defense. (Other \"studies\" claim different ratios.) The 43:1 claim, based upon a small-scale study of King County (Seattle) and Shelby County (Memphis), is a fraud, because it counts as self-defense gun uses only those cases in which a criminals were killed in the defender\'s home. Approximately 99.9% of all defensive gun uses are not fatal shootings, however -- criminals are usually frightened off, held at bay, or non-fatally wounded. Also, many defensive firearms uses occur away from home. Further, suicides were counted as \"family member killings\" in the \"study,\"elevating that number more than 500%. Unfortunately, some of these \"studies\" are funded with taxpayer dollars, through grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a division of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Since adopting CCW in 1987 Florida\'s homicide rate has decreased 21% while the U.S. Rate has risen 12%.
Area 1987 1992 %Change
Florida 11.4 9.0 -21%
U.S.A. 8.3 9.2 +12%
Nationwide, homicide rates peaked in 1980 - 1981. After fluctuating, but dropping overall thereafter, both the U.S. and Florida homicide rates began to rise in 1986. Florida adopted CCW in 1987, and its homicide rate began to decline, dropping 21% 1987 - 1992. The U.S. rate continued its upward trend, rising 12% in the 1987 - 1992 period. (Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports)
Florida CCW Permittees Do Not Commit Crimes
Pop. - 13,277,000 Floridians Who Own Guns (Percent) All -- 62.7% Male -- 68.8% Female -- 57.3% Floridians Who Own Guns (Number): 8,325,000 Permits issued: 204,108 Permits Revoked Due To Crime: 17 (0.008%)
The latest report from the Florida Department of State, covering a 6-year, 4-month period from 10/01/87 (start-up date) through 02/28/94, shows that 204,108 CCW permits have been issued -- 69% new permits; 31% permit renewals. Only one-quarter of 1% of permit applications have been rejected due to an applicant\'s criminal history; two-tenths of 1% have been rejected due to an \"incomplete application.\" One hundred eighty-seven (0.1%) permits have been revoked because the permittee committed some kind of crime, though not necessarily a gun-related or violent crime, after permit issuance. After receiving permits, only 17 (0.008%) individuals committed crimes (not necessarily violent) in which firearms were present, though not necessarily used. By contrast, in 1992 there were about 46,000 gun-related violent crimes (assaults, robberies, homicides and rapes) in Florida, based upon FBI Uniform Crime Reports supplementary reports and reported crime totals.