For Release: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Texas Concealed Handgun License Holder Offenses Include: Murder, Rape, Kidnapping, Weapon Crimes, Crimes Against Children, and Domestic Violence
WASHINGTON – A new study released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) shows that Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested 5,314 times since the concealed handgun license law went into effect an average of two and one-half arrests every day from January 1, 1996, until August 31, 2001. Texas has a “shall issue” concealed carry system, in which an adult (21 or over), is issued a license that allows them to have a handgun on or about their person as long as it is not visible or discernible through ordinary observation after they meet specific, objective criteria.
According to License to Kill IV: More Guns, More Crime, from January 1, 1996, through August 31, 2001, there were 41 arrests for murder and attempted murder by concealed handgun license holders in Texas. License to Kill IV: More Guns, More Crime discusses the dangerous ramifications of concealed carry legislation and details the arrests of 11 concealed handgun license holders subsequent to licensure for the crimes of homicide, attempted homicide, and aggravated kidnapping. Arrest data is regularly accepted as a valid measure of crime, reflecting law enforcement response to criminal activity, and is used by agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for its Uniform Crime Reports (UCR).
“The NRA told Texans in 1996 that a concealed handgun law would make Texas a safer place,” VPC Health Policy Analyst Karen Brock, MPH, said today. “The thousands of arrests of concealed handgun license holders demonstrates the exact opposite to be true: license holders are committing crimes, not preventing them. States now considering concealed carry laws should learn from the dire consequences that Texans now live with day-in and day-out.”
VPC analysis of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) data reveals that
- From 1996 to 2000, Texas concealed handgun license holders were arrested for weapon-related offenses at a rate 81 percent higher than that of the general population of Texas, aged 21 and older which amounts to more than one weapon-related offense every other day since the law went into effect.
- Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for more than two serious violent crimes per month since the law went into effect including: murder/attempted murder, manslaughter/negligent homicide, kidnapping, rape, and sexual assault.
- Texas concealed handgun license holders have been arrested for more than two crimes against children per month since the law went into effect including: sexual assault/aggravated sexual assault on a child, injury to a child, indecency with a child, abandon/endanger a child, solicitation of a minor, and possession or promotion of child pornography.