FBI Crime Stats Show an Armed Public Is a Safer Public

Elizabeth Hellmann, program director for NRA women's shooting sports programs, says:

In 2000, our first year, Women on Target had 13 clinics with 496 participants. Based upon attendance reports submitted so far this year, WOT is slightly above the figures for last year, which had a record of over 9,000 attendees.

Most women who call about WOT clinics say they are interested in learning to shoot for the purpose of personal protection. Generally, the NRA finds that women who are interested in learning to shoot often state that they want to obtain concealed carry permits.

Pistol training is our most popular class, whether it's for Women On Target or basic NRA courses.

MSNBC recently ran an article entitled “Record numbers now licensed to pack heat.” An ABC affiliate in California noted:

With budget cuts depleting local police and sheriffs [sic] departments, concealed weapons permit applications have bumped up slightly.

The Boston Globe noted that even in Massachusetts -- where gun ownership is restricted to those who complete coursework and pass a police background check -- gun ownership increased over 15% during the 2008-2009 period.

All across America, concealed carry permits are on the rise. Between 2006 and 2009, Florida issued over 271,000 new licenses, a 66% increase to over 684,000.

During the same time period, Texas saw a 56% increase, bringing their total to over 402,000; Michigan saw an 80% increase in licensees; and Utah experienced a 78% increase.

Since 2005, there has been a 25% increase in justifiable homicides by private citizens, 31% more by citizens with handguns. (Justifiable homicides result when citizens stop felonious attacks against themselves or another person, killing the attacker.)

While few defensive gun uses result in the attacker’s death, justifiable homicide data serve as an indicator of how more citizens are choosing self-defense over victimhood.

News items abound where armed citizens successfully defended themselves. A perusal of The Armed Citizen contains a generous sampling of successful self-defense articles going back to November 2003, and Keep and Bear Arms usually posts a number of stories each day.

More guns. More gun owners. More law-abiding citizens carrying handguns in public. More caution amongst violent predators?

When interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor, Violence Policy Center founder Josh Sugarmann complained about how much influence pro-gun writers and organizations have gained in recent years, saying that pro-rights bloggers “clearly have more free time than people on our side of the issue do.” He conveniently overlooked the fact that he has plenty of time to promote his side because he receives over $135,000 yearly from the Joyce Foundation, compared to these volunteer “bloggers.”

In 2009, Gallup found that support for a handgun ban had faded to its lowest level (29%) since they began the survey in 1959. Gallup got similar results when asking people whether or not they supported stricter gun control laws.

Organizations like the Brady Campaign and Violence Policy Center like to blame the “gun lobby’s undue influence” on policy makers for their difficulty in passing “sensible gun laws” that “the public supports.”

The numbers speak louder than anti-rights rhetoric: more guns, less crime.