A new study from researchers at Stanford and Johns Hopkins universities has found a link between right-to-carry (RTC) gun laws and an increase in violent crime. The findings cast doubt on the “more guns, less crime” theory espoused by many gun owners.
True, studies based on data from 1992 and earlier seemed to indicate RTC laws were reducing violent crime. But extending the data to 2010, as this study does, shows violent crime has increased as the nation’s RTC laws increased. (Such laws now exist in all 50 states.)
From the Stanford website:
“The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates” of aggravated assault, rape, robbery and murder, said Donohue [co-author John J. Donohue III].
The strongest evidence was for aggravated assault, with data suggesting that right-to-carry (RTC) laws increase this crime by an estimated 8 percent – and this may actually be understated, according to the researchers.
“Our analysis of the year-by-year impact of RTC laws also suggests that RTC laws increase aggravated assaults,” they wrote.
Our analysis of admittedly imperfect gun aggravated assaults provides suggestive evidence that RTC laws may be associated with large increases in this crime, perhaps increasing such gun assaults by almost 33 percent. [emphasis added]
Of course no one study is conclusive. But it is encouraging to have some scholarly research supporting the logic and common sense of those opposed to the proliferation of guns in our society.