Light Over Heat #28: Examining a Study of Permitless Carry Laws and Officer-Involved Shootings

NOTE: Since I recorded this video, I published an analysis of this study and one other study on Stephen Gutowski’s gun news reporting site, The Reload. The article is only available to subscribers, but a subscription is well worth the cost.

This week I look at a study that purports to show that the shift to permitless carry laws from 2014 to 2020 is associated with a rise in the number of officer-involved shootings of civilians.

The idea is that permitless carry creates more of a perceived threat among law enforcement officers, leading to more officer-involved shootings (OIS).

The paper’s abstract reads, “On average, Permitless CCW adopting states saw a 12.9% increase in the OIS victimization rate or an additional 4 OIS victimizations per year, compared to what would have happened had law adoption not occurred.”

But according to a press release announcing the article, an increase in officer involved shootings was only found in 4 of 11 states that went to permitless carry during the study period.

So, despite the headline, in a majority of states that went permitless, there was NO increase in the number of officer-involved shootings compared to the synthetic control states. Here again we see what I call “the problem with averages.”

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Concealed Weapon Carry Laws in the US: A Primer (Updated March 2022)

In January 2021 the manuscript for my small book, Concealed Carry Revolution: Liberalizing the Right to Bear Arms in America, was at the publisher and when it was released several months later, it was already out of date. In the first months of 2021, five states passed permitless carry laws: Iowa, Tennessee, Utah, Montana, and Texas. I brought out an updated version of the book later that year. Alas, it appears that events in 2022 may necessitate a second update. Ohio, Alabama, and Indiana have recently passed permitless carry laws, and Georgia seems likely to join them soon.

These developments provide a good occasion to review concealed weapon carry permit laws in the US.

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Light Over Heat #5: The Concealed Carry Revolution and Concealed Carry Training

In last week’s video on Gun Culture 2.0, I mentioned the “Concealed Carry Revolution” as establishing an important aspect of the legal environment within which people practice armed self-defense today.

In this fifth “Light Over Heat with Professor David Yamane” video, I discuss the shall-issue and permitless carry revolutions, and a recent criticism by the Michael Bloomberg-funded newsadvocacy organization “The Trace” that these laws allow the promiscuous toting for firearms in public without proper “training.”

The question of gun training is one I have written about frequently on this blog and in Chapter 5 of my book, Concealed Carry Revolution: Liberalizing the Right to Bear Arms in America.

New “Light Over Heat” videos are released on YouTube every Wednesday, so please surf over to my YouTube channel and SUBSCRIBE to follow, RING THE BELL to receive notifications, and SHARE so others can learn about this work.

The Continuing Expansion of Permitless Concealed Carry Laws in the United States

Not even a week after I posted a primer on concealed carry laws in the United States, Kentucky became the third state just this year to go permitless (joining Oklahoma and South Dakota). There are now 15 states in which anyone who can legally possess a gun can carry it concealed in public without a license (although various other restrictions on what, where, and when you can carry still apply).*

One of these is Vermont, which has never restricted concealed carry. The other 14 have what my friend Matthew Carberry calls “Alaska Carry” regimes. So called because Alaska was the first state, in 2003, to adopt a system in which the government issues but does not require permits to carry concealed weapons in public.

This permitless carry era on top of the previous shall issue carry era has resulted in a continuing expansion of the right to bear arms in public.

Graphic by Rob Vance, March 2019. Used with permission.

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