One of the fundamental beliefs of gun control activists is that “more guns equals more crime”. The only problem is that isn’t true. At all. There are somewhere around 400-million privately owned firearms in the United States, and while that number has soared over the past few decades, violent crime rates have declined dramatically. The same holds true for concealed carry and violent crime. It’s estimated there are now more than 17-million concealed carry licensees across the country, and violent crime continues to drop. In Florida, for example, the homicide rate was 11.4 per 100,000 people when right to carry laws went into effect in 1987. By 2017, there were well over one million concealed carry holders in the state, and the homicide rate had fallen to 5.0 per 100,000.
New data out of California provides more evidence that the presence of legal gun owners and lawful gun carries doesn’t increase crime. The Fresno Bee recently reported that Fresno County has the highest number of concealed carry licensees in the state, followed by Orange County. If “more guns equals more crime”, then more people carrying guns should lead to more crime as well, and yet both Fresno and Orange County have lower homicide rates than Los Angeles County, home to more than 10-million residents but just 424 concealed carry licensees.
According to the latest figures from California’s Department of Justice, Los Angeles County’s homicide rate in 2018 was 5.5 per 100,000. Fresno County was slightly lower, at 5.3 per 100,000. Orange County’s homicide rate was substantially lower, coming in at just 1.5 per 100,000. According to the “more guns equals more crime” theory, both Fresno and Orange Counties should be much more violent places than Los Angeles County, which simply isn’t the case. Even San Francisco County, where there are just two (yes, two) active concealed carry licenses, has a homicide rate that’s virtually identical to Fresno County, which suggests that individuals exercising their right to carry aren’t drivers of violent crime or homicides.
None of this is likely to change any hearts and minds at the state capitol in Sacramento, unfortunately. An anti-gun supermajority is in place in both chambers, and Governor Gavin Newsom loves gun control laws like Michael Moore loves cake. In fact, lawmakers are constantly working to make it harder to obtain a concealed carry license in 2A-friendly counties. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is currently considering a number of cases dealing with the right to carry, but unfortunately for now logic, reason, and the Constitution are losing out to emotion and hostility to the individual freedoms of Californians.