Study: No link between CHLs and crime rates

(AP File Photo)
(AP File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the conversation about guns in Texas and on campus continues, a study from a Texas university shows no significant relationship between crime rates and concealed handgun licenses.

“The idea that concealed handguns lead to less crime is at the center of much firearms legislation, but the science behind that conclusion has been murky,” said Phillips, an emeritus regents professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, in a news release. “The results have been so inconclusive that the National Academy of Sciences in 2004 called for new approaches to studying the issue, which is what we’ve done with this research.”

The study out of Texas A&M University examined four states: Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Dr. Phillips tells KXAN News researchers decided to focus on concealed handgun licenses issued and county crime rates.

“One of the big arguments in favor of CHLs on campus is that it will substantially decrease crime rates. And that’s just not something that the study,” said Jordan Pahl with Students Against Guns on Campus.

However, UT student Madison Yandell, a campus leader with Students for Concealed Carry, sees the numbers differently.

“[When concealed carry first passed] people thought that it was going to be the wild west and things were going to become unsafe and dangerous,” said Yandell. “This study kind of goes to show there’s really no correlation between CHL holders and any sort of increase or decrease in crime rates.”

“The logic of relaxing requirements for concealed carry for the purposes of public safety implies that such legislation should reduce crime rates,” states the study. “However, our results indicate that more concealed handgun licensees in our four states had no significant negative effect on crime rates. This lack of a significant negative relationship is especially noteworthy for violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated
assault.”

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