Firearms Friday


Armed and diverse

As one might expect, concealed carry has grown dramatically in popularity over the last decade or so, and, as one might expect, that growth has coincided with a remarkable drop in crime. Between 2007 and 2015, Lott reports, the “murder rates fell from 5.6 to 4.7 (preliminary estimate) per 100,000,” while “violent crime fell by 18 percent.” Over the same period, “the percentage of adults with permits has soared by 190%.” As for those “adults with permits” . . . well, they are most certainly not all old and white and male. On the contrary: Lott notes that in the “eight states where we have data by gender . . . since 2012 the number of permits has increased by 161% for women and by 85% for men.” That has meant a dramatic leap in the share of carry-permit holders who are women, a figure that has increased by almost half in Tennessee and Texas and a third in Florida.

A similar dynamic has developed within minority communities — at least, it has in the one state that keeps data by race. “Texas,” Lott records, “provides detailed information on both race and gender from 1996 through 2014.” And that information shows that permitting has increased fastest for blacks, followed closely by Asians. While whites still hold the vast majority of permits, the number of black permit holders has grown more than twice as quickly as the number of white permit holders. Moreover: When permit data is broken down by race and gender, we find that rates of permit holding among American Indian, Asian, black, and white females all grew much faster than the rates for males in those racial groups. Concealed carry has increased most rapidly among black females. From 2000 to 2015, the rate of growth was 3.81 times faster than among white females.

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