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How Maine refutes anti-gun claims

How Maine refutes anti-gun claims
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The state of Maine hasn’t backed a Republican presidential candidate since 1988. Its state legislature also leans Democrat as well. To many, it would look like a typical northeastern blue state, but it’s a lot more complicated than that.

Maine is what it is, and I get the distinct feeling that residents there don’t care to be categorized one way or another. However, one way we can categorize many of them is as being pro-gun. The state has supported the right to keep and bear arms for years, even adopting permitless carry in 2015, well before states like Texas and Georgia, which only passed it last year.

When they passed the law, we heard the usual cries about “blood in the streets,” just as usually happens when there’s discussion of constitutional carry.

However, is that what happens? Well, it didn’t happen there.

When Maine began allowing eligible residents to carry concealed firearms without a government license in 2015, gun control advocates warned that Wild West-style gun violence would erupt across the state.

Instead, the opposite has happened.

In fact, property crime and violent crime have fallen in Maine since the 2015 reform, according to crime data tracked by the FBI.

While rates of violent crime increased nationally from 2015 to 2020, the rate of violent crime in Maine fell steadily beginning in 2015, after a slight increase from 2014 to 2015, according to data collected by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

Property crimes, such as robbery, larceny, and burglary, which had already been declining since 2012, continued to fall in line with the national trend. Property crime rates are now lower than at any time since 1985, when the FBI data begins.

Now, the report does go on to note that the decrease isn’t necessarily because of permitless carry in the state. Correlation isn’t causation, after all.

However, the author does note that crime didn’t increase following the end of the state’s carry license requirement as gun control advocates predicted.

It just didn’t happen.

In fact, we usually don’t see the “blood in the streets” as many claim we will. They said the same thing after the assault weapon ban sunset, yet the homicide rate continued to drop for more than a decade afterward, just to name one example.

Oh, there are times you see the opposite happen, where there does seem to be some kind of uptick in violent crime. However, again, correlation isn’t causation.

The truth is that the causes of violent crime are far more complex than whether the bad guys have an easy time getting guns or not. That’s true in Maine or any other state you care to name. There are tons of socio-economic issues at play that likely contribute to someone going down the road to becoming a violent criminal.

Yet if we take nothing else from this particular bit of information, it should be that the ability to carry a firearm isn’t one of them.

We’ve heard a lot over the last couple of years that without a permitting requirement, the police won’t be able to stop bad guys carrying guns and violence will surge. Somehow, Maine has escaped that fate, the fate we’ve been assured will befall states like Texas and Georgia, among others.

However, it’s far more likely that Maine’s results are typical and that constitutional carry states will see a decrease in crime over the next few years. Not all of it will be because citizens can carry, but that’s fine. I don’t actually care if that is the reason violent crime drops or not. For me, any impact on the crime rate is secondary to the restoration of people’s rights.

What does matter, though, is that yet again the anti-gunner predictions won’t come to pass. It’s just a shame much of the media will simply pretend it’s not a news story.