May 2nd, 2010

Don’t Mess with Texas — 2.25% of Population Licensed to Carry

Texas concealed handgun licensesSome weeks ago we ran a story on Texas Governor Rick Perry, explaining that the Lone Star State’s Chief Executive is a serious shooter who sometimes carries his own handgun for personal protection. Well Gov. Perry is in good company — nearly 405,000 other Texans are licensed to carry.

2009 Licensing Statistics from the Texas Dept. of Public Safety reveal that 404,795 Texans have Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs) or are certified instructors. That number represents about 2.25% of all Texas residents. Remarkably, the number of Texans licensed to carry increased nearly one-third from 2008 to 2009, with 138,768 new CHLs issued last year. We’re not sure why so many more Texans decided to get carry permits in 2009, but this trend coincided with a major surge in gun sales following the 2008 Presidential election. So, now more than ever before, “Don’t Mess with Texas” is a warning would-be criminals must heed. With 1 in 50 Texans licensed to carry, Texas is one state where criminals must think twice before preying on law-abiding citizens. In Texas, the large number of citizens who carry concealed is a very real deterrent to crime.

More Guns, Less Crime
Since 1991, 23 states have adopted “shall issue” laws, replacing laws that prohibited carrying or that issued carry permits on a very restrictive basis; many other federal, state, and local gun control laws have been eliminated or made less restrictive; and the number of privately-owned guns has risen by about 90 million. There are more RTC states, gun owners, people carrying firearms for protection, and privately owned firearms than ever before. In the same time frame, through 2008, the nation’s murder rate has decreased 46 percent to a 43-year low, and the total violent crime rate has decreased 41 percent to a 35-year low. Preliminary data reported by the FBI indicate that rates fell further in the first half of 2009. (Map and Right-To-Carry info courtesy NRA Institute for Legislative Action.)

Right to Carry Laws

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