Until last year, Illinois was the only state to ban concealed carry. A U.S. Appeals Court struck down their ban as unconstitutional and required that the state enact a concealed carry law. Last summer in July, lawmakers came up with such a law, albeit a very restrictive one:
The law as approved by the Legislature permits anyone with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card who has passed a background check and undergone gun-safety training of 16 hours — longest of any state — to obtain a concealed-carry permit for $150. The Illinois State Police would have six months to set up a system to start accepting applications. Spokeswoman Monique Bond said police expect 300,000 applications in the first year.
The predictable response from the left was of course that more guns would mean even more violence, especially in places like Chicago. But so far, that hasn’t happened yet. In fact, quite the contrary:
On Tuesday, the Chicago Police Department announced that the city experienced its lowest murder rate since 1958 in the first quarter of 2014. There were 6 fewer murders than the same timeframe in 2013 — a 9 percent drop — and 55 fewer murders than 2012, police said.
Further, there were reportedly 90 fewer shootings and 119 fewer shooting victims compared to last year. There have also been 222 fewer shootings and 292 fewer shooting victims compared to the first quarter in 2012.
All crime is down 25 percent from 2013 and police say they have confiscated over 1,300 illegal guns in the last three months.
Granted, it is too early to tell if there is a correlation between Illinois’ new concealed carry law and the dropping crime rate. Apparently, the first gun permits were issued in late February.
But even the Chicago Police Superintendent called the drop a “trend.” He didn’t however make any mention of concealed carry. He credited his police force.
But this is not at all the trend that liberals wanted to see. They wanted to see an increase in crime, not a drop.
It’s entirely possible that the law itself caused a drop in crime. The mere fact that there was finally a law on the books that allowed Illinois residents to carry concealed may have convinced many criminals to think twice about committing a violent crime, even before any permits were issued.
We’ll have to wait to see if this apparent drop in crime is truly a trend, and if that trend correlates with an increase in concealed carriers.