Monday, April 3, 2017

State Sen. David Craig ignores his own advice and won’t “look at the facts” when it comes to permitless carry

Craig ignores statistics, court cases, in his push for a questionable gun law

A Wisconsin lawmaker says we should allow anyone with a gun the ability to carry it concealed, without requiring a permit or safety classes beforehand.

Republican State Sen. David Craig of Vernon says that he understands the negative reactions to his bill, but tells naysayers they have to “look at the facts” before saying no.

“If other states are doing this without ill effect, and we’ve had the level of permitless carry in Wisconsin without ill effect, why would we not break down that barrier?” he recently asked rhetorically.

Craig may want to heed his own advice, and look at the facts.

He totally ignores the facts, for instance, when it comes to Wisconsin’s track record instituting concealed carry. Wisconsin became the 49th state to do so in 2011, and since then violent crime and murder rates have skyrocketed.

But Craig asks us to look at the facts from other states. If they’ve enacted permitless concealed carry “without ill effect,” then certainly Wisconsin can do the same, he contends.

Yet the first qualifier of his statement — that other states enacted the same type of policy “without ill effect” — is itself misleading. To explain this further, I took a look at FBI statistics from the states that enacted permitless concealed carry.

Specifically, I looked at the three-year average of violent crime in four of the 13 states that have so-called “constitutional carry.” (A quick note: I only looked at four states because several of the other states have only recently enacted their permitless concealed carry laws, and their effect cannot be determined. Vermont also has never required a permit for concealed carry, and cannot be compared either.)

I calculated the violent crime rate averages of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas and Wyoming in the three years prior to those states enacting their permitless laws. I then took a look at where their violent crime rates stood in the latest crime stats, which are from the year 2015.


StateYear enactedPrev 3 yr violent crime rate avg2015 violent crime rateRate change


In three of the four states, the violent crime rates went up. In two of those states, the rates went up by over 10 percent. In one state, the violent crime rate did go down, but not significantly so (less than a 3 percent difference).

In other words, Sen. Craig, again, isn’t heeding his own advice — he’s telling us to look at the facts when he hasn’t done it himself. Violent crime is more likely to go up than go down following the enactment of permitless concealed carry laws.

But what about rights? Sen. Craig declared, “This is a constitutional right, this is a fundamental right laid out by the Second Amendment.”

Except, concealed carry isn’t a protected right recognized by the Second Amendment. This isn’t just my theory: two federal courts from two different circuits have made similar conclusions in this decade alone.

Sen. David Craig ignores the facts on Wisconsin’s concealed carry law, and the rise in crime since its implementation. He ignores the facts that demonstrate a rise in crime in other states that have allowed permitless concealed carry. And he ignores the facts from federal court rulings that state that, no, permitless concealed carry is not a constitutional right.

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